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BHS students plan for construction of elementary school garage

Six students in the advanced construction technology class at Bemidji High School are taking their skills to new heights. Under the supervision of teacher Rod Baumann, the students have teamed up to plan for the construction of a garage at Northe...

Six students in the advanced construction technology class at Bemidji High School are taking their skills to new heights.

Under the supervision of teacher Rod Baumann, the students have teamed up to plan for the construction of a garage at Northern Elementary School.

"They're playing the role of the contractor now," Baumann said.

Already this year, the students have been helping to build two houses near the high school as part of the construction program's partnership with the Headwaters Housing Development Corporation.

Some of the students also helped build a garage last fall at Horace May Elementary School. When the opportunity arose for a second garage project, Baumann said the time was right to take a few students to another level of the trade.

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The six students -- who are working as volunteers after school hours on the Northern Elementary School garage project -- have drawn up a design for the garage, placed bids, selected colors and styles of materials and ordered materials.

Their design for the 24-feet-by-36-feet garage includes a garage door, a utility door and a black shingled roof. They also selected a gray heather color for the siding and a sandstone color for the garage door.

Yet this spring, seniors Kyle Gorick and Paul Christiansen will assist Baumann in supervising students in the beginning construction technology class as they build the garage.

"We're just waiting for the slab to get poured and the materials to arrive," Gorick said.

The high school's construction program is serving as a stepping stone for several students, including Christiansen. After graduation, he said, he plans to attend Bemidji State University to study CAD drafting or architectural drafting.

His brother, junior Brad Christiansen, who is also working on the garage project, said he wants to pursue carpentry, while senior Trevor Schuver, another student working on the project, said he will likely work in construction for another summer after graduation.

Meanwhile, Gorick plans to pursue carpentry at Northwest Technical College. Through the garage project, he said he is learning new techniques. He noted that he is also learning about working with others.

"It's more teamwork than anything," Gorick added.

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