Thursday, Apr 18, 2019

Building trades continues projects

As Harvard High School building trades students complete one major project, the baseball field press box, they’ll begin work on the fifth house built under instructor Bob Mundis.

Press box work continues A two-story press box with a small concession area at the baseball field should be completed before the end of the year, ready in plenty of time for the first pitch.

“It’s similar to what we put at the soccer field,” said Mundis. “We’re just finishing up the painting now and recently poured the concrete floor.”

Mundis said drywall for the ceiling has been completed, and students will begin working on the walls and stairs in the coming weeks. Countertops and railings will be among the final finishing touches on the building.

In total, 14 students have been working on the press box, with many more in beginner level classes observing and learning more about the tools used.

House groundbreaking coming soon

Ground will be broken on a new building trades house in the coming weeks. The house, which will be located in the Turtle Crossing subdivision on Sage Lane, will feature three bedrooms and two bathrooms when complete.

“The housing market is still rough, and we thought about doing a rehab instead” Mundis said. The school district already owned the lot, however, and a decision was made to keep the house smaller.

This year’s house was designed by John Sieck, a Harvard High School graduate who also recently designed a Habitat for Humanity house in the area.

The house will be built over a two-year period, Mundis said. The goal for the first year is to complete the roofing, siding, windows and doors. Next year, the interiors, drywall, insulation and mechanicals will be completed.

“I love working with the kids,” Mundis said when asked what he likes about the building trades program. “They’re always an interesting group, and they help keep you young.”

Mundis said it’s always fun seeing the diverse group of students from all socio-economic backgrounds come together for a common cause. He said the program teaches the students whether or not a career in construction is right for them.

“They realize quickly if they don’t like to work outdoors,” Mundis said. “When we were working on the food pantry, I had four kids who stuck it out on one of the coldest days I can remember us working. They never stopped.”

Other students, he said, would work for awhile before heading inside to warm up.

Mundis said after a house is built, it’s the students’ responsibility to keep the property maintained for realtors. He said this is often the job of a spec contractor, so the students learn to take on that role.

“Last year, when the house finally sold, I had one student who said, ‘Thank goodness we won’t have to shovel that driveway again,’” he said, laughing.

Mundis said the school is currently looking for assistance from contractors, especially those in the mechanicals. For information, call Mundis at 815-353-1393.