Delta Secondary classes collaborate to build cabin

March 14, 2014

Drafting and carpentry students combine skills to design and construct vacation home for Ladner family

Julia Vergara / Delta Optimist 

This year's Delta Secondary drafting and carpentry students combined their skills to draw and construct a cabin for a Ladner family in 100 Mile House.

In previous years the carpentry students in Wayne McKinnon's class have had an opportunity to build vacation homes, sheds and garages, while students in Glen Addison's drafting class have created drawings and models of numerous projects.

For the first time this year, the classes collaborated on a single project. The drafting class did the drawings for the cabin that's being built by the construction class on the grounds of the Ladner high school, allowing drafting students to see walls drawn on computer software go up before their eyes.

Principal Terry Ainge says it's an initiative by the teachers of the tech classes.

"They are trying to create real relevant experiences for their students," Ainge says.

Since September, a team of five drafting students has been creating drawings on AutoCAD for carpentry students. Students from both classes have been working together for months and the cabin is now ready to be assembled in 100 Mile House.

Ainge says it's exciting for students to take a project from concept to fruition. "It exposes them through various stages of project management," he says, adding they usually only see their own discipline area.

"The drafting students are now able to see the next stages, walk outside and see what's happening through the construction process and see their design come to life. And the construction students are able to know where the concept, these ideas, came from. There is an opportunity for an exchange, some real authentic feedback."

Carpentry teacher McKinnon says the cabins have to be designed and built to code.

"These houses have to pass inspection and the plans have to go through the municipality for an approval as well," he says.

"We can take a little extra time here at the school because we are learning as we go, but when it's done, it has to be as professional as any other house that's built."

One of McKinnon's carpentry students, Jace Day, who is part of the crew that will go to assemble the cabin in 100 Mile House, plans to pursue trades after completing high school.

"This gives me an experience working with floor plans and drawings and also it's just good to see on a resume, to see that I have built a cabin," Day says.

Drafting teacher Addison says his students were pretty excited to see their drawings come to life.

"That changes things.

Not too many students get to do that. They get to actually start from zero, with some ideas and then put it together, make some changes and start to see it grow." Matthew Wegener, one of Addison's students, says: "I get to see it (the plans) evolve over time and see it built up and make changes."

Ashley Robinson, who is planning to study architectural design upon graduation, is also pleased to have been involved in the process.

"It's definitely a different experience because we haven't done anything like this."

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