Groveport and GMHS construction students partnership to proceed

By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

Photo courtesy of Groveport Madison Schools
Students in Groveport Madison High School’s construction trades program at work on a project.

The city of Groveport and students in Groveport Madison High School’s construction trades program are moving forward on a project to build a shelterhouse in Cruiser Park.

City officials and the construction trades program instructor Chad Gibbs began discussions last fall about what potential building projects the students could undertake in the city. They decided the first project would be constructing the shelterhouse at Cruiser Park, located along Bixby Road and Old Hamilton Road.

The city will fund the materials and the students will do the design and construction work.

“The shelterhouse will be 16×20 feet,” said Groveport City Administrator B.J. King, who added the project will only cost the city $3,500 in building materials, which is a substantial savings because he said it otherwise would cost $15,000 to build the shelterhouse.

A private company will donate the concrete for the project, according to King.
Groveport City Councilman Shawn Cleary said the students are “excited” about the project.

“This will help them learn and it will also be a nice addition to our park system,” said Cleary.

Added Mayor Lance Westcamp regarding the construction trades students and their instructor, “It’s a great program for the high school.”

Councilman Ed Dildine said last fall that 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 King. “There’s so much we can do with them.”

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.

“Doing projects for your city gives you a sense of pride and trust,” said Gibbs last fall. “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 construction trades program
The Groveport Madison High School construction trades program, which began in 2018, 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.

The students in the construction trades program have built several structures, including: the new visitors’ concession stand at Cruiser Stadium at Groveport Madison High School; 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. More plans are in the works.

According to Gibbs, jobs in the construction fields are in demand. Companies offer paid apprenticeship programs and paid post education. He said companies pay high dollars for students skilled in the trades fields.

Gibbs said the program helps replenish the construction field with “young, motivated students who love to build projects for others no matter the size.”

“This 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.”

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