Some Linn County students are working on a project that not only teaches valuable life skills, but also helps the local community.
The course is offered at South Albany High School and it's called the Building Trades Class. Currently, students taking the class are working on constructing dog houses for a local shelter.
During the class, which is offered to all grade levels, students are introduced to a variety of building skills. Right now they're focused on wood structures. Working in groups of four, they're making dog houses based on plans drawn up by the course’s teacher, Matt West.
West worked as a contractor for 15 years and recently went back to school to teach. He says, what students are learning is invaluable.
"A lot of kids, you know, have never used a tape measurer, never used a hammer, so we're starting real basic,” says West. “They can see with the angles and cutting and using nail guns, all this can easily transfer into building houses for a possible career later on in life.”
Students are really enjoying the project, and say it's fun to get out of the normal classroom setting, and work hands-on.
The finished dog houses will be donated to Safe Haven, a no-kill animal shelter in Albany. All the extra dog houses will be sold at local events, with profits going towards more materials for the class.