Students build home, hobby, career in WDC construction class
In their final days as Wadena-Deer Creek High School seniors, Vincent Berglund, Austin Plautz and Caleb Cully were working on what they felt was their finest accomplishment to date in a class they said was likely the most worthwhile class they'd ever taken.
"Some of us didn't even know how to measure at the beginning of the year," Austin said while lining up a kitchen island last week.
They were working on finishing their first home together as part of the construction class at WDC.
They have reason to feel good about their project as it's the largest home with some of the highest quality materials that's been assembled since the start of this class. Installing hardwood doors, wide trim, high efficiency windows and top of the line cabinetry, the 11 students involved understood early on that their effort would be on display for all to see—not just for their instructor to grade.
"Good enough doesn't work here," instructor Mike Schrode said as he worked with the students to complete the project they started at the beginning of the school year. "We're trying to give the people that buy this a quality product."
Just the day before, several prospective buyers channeled through the house to see if it would meet their needs. The 1,344 square-foot home is to be sold by sealed bids, with bids required by June 5 and home delivery before Aug. 10. The minimum bid of $83,500, is far below the cost Schrode feels it would cost to have a contractor build it, closer to $130,000.
When asked what parts of the class taught them something new, Cade Kapphahn commented that he was learning something new with each step.
"Pretty much everything I've done all year is the first time I've done it," Cade said.
They agreed that the class was helping them learn skills that they could use to do work themselves, rather than hiring someone else to do it. A couple of the boys agreed that the class was preparing them for the future. Vincent already had some background in carpentry and said this helped him to see further how much he looked forward to getting into the field.
"I'll probably start my own construction business one day," Vincent said.
The difficulty in this class is starting a major project when you only have an hour and a half a day to work. They worked two full day Saturdays and two full-day school days for certain parts that needed completion quickly.
From setting the trusses by hand, to measuring out the angles of the sheetrock into the vaulted ceiling, every step has a process that had to be completed in order to reach completion before the end of school. Minimal work needed to be completed in the final days with the chance of some final completions to be done in the week after school lets out. Several students noted that they'd continue to volunteer their time to see the project is completed.
Looking to buy?
What: 3 bed, 2 bath, 28x48 house, 1,344 square feet, olive green in color. All construction, plumbing and electrical done to Minnesota code. Construction and utility work from Wadena businesses including: Merickel Lumber, Platinum Electric, Scott's Paint and Tile Works and Bryan Wegscheid Plumbing and Heating.
When: Bids will be received up to 2 p.m., Wednesday, June 5 in the District Office
located at 600 Colfax Ave SW, Wadena MN 56482. They may be mailed to: Supt. Lee
Westrum, Wadena-Deer Creek ISD #2155, 600 Colfax Ave SW, Wadena MN. 56482.
Bids must be sealed and marked "Sealed House Bid."
The School District reserves the right to accept or reject any and all bids, to set a
minimum sale price and to waive irregularities in bid proposals. House must be removed
from school property before August 10, 2019.
Contact: Appointments to view the house and/or inquire on construction details, can be arranged by calling instructor Mike Shrode at (320) 815-7886 or by email at email@example.com. Bid packets are located on the school website and copies are available at the high school office.