High school students build Griese Park press box
By Jennifer Fredrick
MHS Career and Technical Education Coordinator
According to the Associated General Contractors of America’s website, each year the United States completes more than $600 billion worth of new construction projects for entities such as hospitals, schools, highways and bridges, office buildings, and stores. Do not let the big numbers hide the fact that no construction project gets done without people to design and manage the project, order materials, operate the equipment, schedule work, and supervise the jobs.
There are 6.9 million Americans who are responsible for building the structures you see. All are talented people with special training. Construction careers start with a high school degree, which can lead students to apprenticeships, technical colleges, or universities.
Marshfield High School offers a variety of construction courses, including Construction I, Construction II, Advanced Construction, and Construction Capstone. The Construction Capstone course is for seniors planning to pursue careers in construction. Students complete a variety of experiential learning projects based on needs in the Marshfield community. This fall Aaron Scheuer, Marshfield High School technology education teacher, and his students built a press box at Griese Park.
In 2015 Tammy Simon and Tara Mannigel from the Marshfield Youth Soccer Association (MYSA) board partnered with Forward Financial, Marshfield High School, and Columbus Catholic High School to secure funds for soccer shelters and a press box at Griese Park’s Figi Field. The shelters were built by volunteers from MYSA in 2015. The press box required more skill than a group of volunteers could construct, therefore collaborating with Scheuer and his students seemed like a natural partnership.
Simon reached out to Scheuer to present the scope of the project and the need to do this work in an organized, thorough, and cost-effective manner. This project offered an opportunity for MYSA to work with Marshfield High School, provide a learning opportunity for the construction students, and give back to our community.
Throughout the project, students learned tool and job site safety and framing; pulled wires for the electrician; and utilized a variety of building materials to construct stairs, headers, shoulder studs, and rafters for the press box. In addition, students could focus on employability skills such as time management, communication, teamwork, problem solving, and critical thinking.
Eric Weber, a senior in Scheuer’s Construction Capstone course, completed all Marshfield High School construction courses. In addition to learning construction skills, Weber affirmed his future employment by stating, “Mr. Scheuer makes class fun, and he helped me decide to pursue my career goal of working in the construction industry.” Weber plans to seek full-time employment immediately after high school graduation.
Dan Neve, operations manager at Staab Construction, works closely with Scheuer and his students. “Having construction classes at the high school offers students the opportunity to learn the skills needed and what is expected from their future employers. Students learn about a career, which provides great pay, benefits, and the training to build or repair items on a personal level, which is very rewarding. While sophomores in college are trying to figure out how to finance their junior year or deciding on a major, our 20-year-old employees are paid to be in an apprenticeship program and buying new trucks. Taking construction classes in high school and entering the trades was the best decision I ever made,” Neve said.
In addition to students developing skills and knowledge in construction, the School District of Marshfield offers opportunities to staff to learn about high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand careers such as construction. In December, 15 teachers, school counselors, and administrators visited Staab Construction. During this visit staff saw Staab Construction’s recent building addition, toured the business, learned about careers and education requirements for jobs at Staab Construction, the skills and attributes they seek from candidates, and more.
For additional information about Career and Technical Education in the School District of Marshfield, contact Jennifer Fredrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.