By Rick Palsgrove
The city of Groveport and students in Groveport Madison High School’s construction trades program plan to work together on a project for an improvement to Cruiser Park.
According to Groveport City Councilman Shawn Cleary, the students and their instructor, Chad Gibbs, asked the city if there were any building projects they could undertake for the city.
Cleary said city officials and the students settled on constructing a shelterhouse at Cruiser Park, located along Bixby Road and Old Hamilton Road. He said the city would fund the materials and the students would do the design and construction work.
“These students have built several structures, including the new visitors’ concession stand at Cruiser Stadium at Groveport Madison High School,” said Cleary. “Constructing a shelterhouse in the park will be Cruisers working at Cruiser Park.”
Councilman Ed Dildine said the shelterhouse project could become a partnership that could lead to similar yearly projects in the city.
“This is great learning opportunity for these students,” said Groveport City Administrator B.J. King. “There’s so much we can do with them.”
Other projects completed by the construction trades program are: a concession stand for the high school Cruiser baseball field; “cubbies” created in the dugouts of the Cruiser softball program where players can store batting helmets, batting gloves and field gloves; a playhouse for Little Cruisers Preschool; a deck at the softball concession stand; Adirondack chairs; garden sheds; a project for the Groveport Madison Area Community Choir; 10×10 barn sheds; raised planters; birdhouses that were donated to the wildlife department; projects at the high school for classrooms; and personal projects students keep.
“This year the students will complete a 600 square foot tiny home on wheels, which we will auction off to the public,” said Gibbs. “We are in the process of locating land in Groveport to build a 1,600 square foot home for next school year senior project.”
Gibbs said the reason he wanted the students in the program to work with the city of Groveport is to get the students involved with projects for their community.
“The students want to give back to their community,” said Gibbs. “Doing projects for your city gives you a sense of pride and trust. I want the city to see all of the hard work these students put in daily learning to be laborers, journeymen, supervisors for the future. I want the community to see the good things our students have to offer, not just the past bad things. Our students are so much more than what people see. This is the beginning of a long relationship between the city of Groveport and the high school for future projects.”
About the Groveport Madison High School construction trades program
The construction trades program prepares students for careers in designing, planning, managing, building, and maintaining commercial, industrial and residential structures and infrastructures. Students in the program may continue into registered apprenticeship or traditional post-secondary programs.
According to Gibbs, he has four Intro to Construction classes which have 30 students each, which are given two classes per semester. A junior class of 30 students begins their road to their apprenticeship. A senior class of 30 students begin speaking to companies about employment and do their 250 hour work based learning with external contractors.
Gibbs said the program began in 2018.
“The program is increasing each year by 100 percent,” said Gibbs. “We have a pool of students to interview each year. We also are increasing due to the industries in the construction field are demanding more employees. The companies are offering paid apprenticeship programs and paid post education. Companies are paying high dollars for students with skills in the trades field.”
Gibbs said the importance of the program is to replenish the construction field with young, motivated students who love to build projects for others no matter the size.
“This also gives the student the knowledge to be self sufficient and the ability to work as a team,” said Gibbs. “Not all students are meant to go to college, some go right to the work force. This way they will graduate with a certificate to work in the field.”
Gibbs said the class’s motto is, “Construction Trades is Building Tomorrow’s Future.”
“We – as educators, parents, guardians, and community members – all depend on the skills of the future generation,” said Gibbs. “That is why our class motto is what it says.”