KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — Plan B became plan A for the Wawasee Building Trades project.
Originally the plan was to build a house beginning with the start of the school year in August. But that plan fell through when the property owner wasn’t able to secure financing for the home.
To keep the building trades students busy, metal was put on a pavilion to seal it up so residents at Camelot Lake could use it. Then some charity work was done for a couple of days and for about three weeks Wawasee students helped Fairfield Building Trades students put a roof on a house they are building on CR 44 in Elkhart County.
In the meantime, Ed Waltz, building trades instructor, was asked by Brian Peshel, a math teacher at Wawasee High School, to help him build his house on Goldilocks Lane in Enchanted Hills near Lake Wawasee. The lot is located by a channel of the lake and when Peshel stands in his front yard and looks to the south, he can see Lake Wawasee.
Work began on the house Monday, Oct. 16. “We started that first week by putting some walls up in the basement,” Waltz said. “It will be a walk out basement.”
Then first floor framing and work on exterior walls began and the next step will be to set the beams for the second floor. It will be a two-story, contemporary type house as described by Waltz.
The house is “a little different” with steeper roof lines than normal. Because of that, Waltz chose not to have his students work on the roof and will instead find another crew to do the roof. Work will continue during the fall and winter months through the drywall stage including hanging the drywall.
Sometime in the spring building trades will team up with welding students for a project at the Wawasee Middle School soccer fields, which is part of the original plan for the school year. They will put up a steel building to be used for a restroom, concessions and storage.
There are 20 junior and senior students in building trades for the 2017-18 school year, 10 in the morning and 10 in the afternoon. But the balance will likely change during the next trimester due to class schedules.
Fifteen of the 20 are first-year building trades students. That certainly presents challenges, Waltz said, but some of the students have previous construction experience through the Geometry in Construction class.
Waltz is in his 25th year as Wawasee Building Trades instructor.