By Charles Collier, The Denmark News
Another year, another project. At least that’s how students in Mr. Kapinos’ construction class see it.
For the last five years, Kapinos has assumed the role of foreman as his students participate in a on-site building project for either the community or the school district, such as the Community Cupboard extension on the American Legion building, re-roofing three storage buildings, baseball dugouts by the middle school, and a concession stand for the baseball diamond.
This year the class is re-building a storage shed near the bleachers on the high school football field. Being involved from start-to- finish with the projects provides valuable insight to what a real-life construction site is like, said Kapinos.
“Most of these projects have been built from the ground up and all have had their own set of challenges. I involve the class in the challenges so they go through the construction process with me from estimating and ordering to framing and finishing.”
While maintaining the leadership role on the construction site, Kapinos offers daily briefings before work begins as to what is expected and who will be responsible for each portion of the day’s progression. He sometime delegates duties based on experience, but said students typically get a chance to have a hand in every aspect of the project.
The skills and lesson students learn through these projects reaches far past report cards as well.
Their work is necessary and beneficial in a variety of ways and students get to see that work is much more than just a job, Kapinos said.
“By getting out on a job site similar to one they might work on in the trades, students can get a better idea of what it’s like to work construction. The students get to see a project go from the planning stages to the finished product. And maybe the best part is seeing these projects in the community long after they graduate. I think it’s a great experience for these kids.”