|The completed project, in place at the Lower Campus Grove|
After a couple of months, we realized that although the plans were solid, there were a lot more moving parts in the mix than could be resolved this year. Having already received our grant for materials and tools, and having a month of the school year still set aside for construction, we quickly changed tack. The students brainstormed along different lines: what could we design and build that would be small, fast, portable, safe, and a ton of fun?
Answer: the Wild West town!
In an amazing display of teamwork and ingenuity, the six students (Aaron, Tys, Sarah Jane, Kylie, Caleb, and senior Jake) quickly produced a set of plans to communicate the idea to our client and provide useful tools for estimating, purchasing, and construction.
|Front view: restaurant, shop, house|
The town would be built in two sections, each 12 feet long, about 5 feet high, and 4 feet deep. Six distinct rooms would be included: a restaurant, a general store, a residential home, a train station, a sheriff's office, and a jail.
|Perspective: train station, sheriff, jail (CAD model unfinished)|
With approval from the Lower School, the students set to work. Bethany Bodenhamer, one of our industrious Lower School parents, negotiated with Home Depot and coordinated the deliveries of tools and lumber. Marty Robertson graciously allowed us the use of his miter saw for the entire duration of the construction. Peter Bohlinger also loaned many high quality tools used throughout the construction.
And so the work began! The backyard of the Upper Campus was converted to a scene of enthusiastic creativity. The six students, with their varying levels of experience, quickly grew in their confidence in measuring, cutting, and attaching the lumber—and always with safety eyewear, of course!
|The play structure develops over the course of several weeks|
When school let out in June, the students had made a terrific start on the structural framing, and some of the siding. Who knew that trigonometry had practical application?!
|From left to right: Tys, Jake, Aaron, Kylie, and Caleb|
In this image, the CAD model has been added as an overlay
to help visualize the final product
Clockwise from top: Aaron, Kylie, Sarah Jane, Tys, and Caleb
show off their craftsmanship
The restaurant nears completion (left); the framing for the railway
station, sheriff, and jail is practically complete
|The reverse angle view in the backyard|
Once summer came, others pitched in to help. Visiting alumnus and founding member of the Providence Engineering Academy Gabe Clark worked alongside Jake and Tys; Mr. Hurt brought his wife (great with child) and parents; Mr. Meadth's son Asher even lent a hand!
Tys (in the window), Jake (middle) and Gabe helped secure the
roof and siding for the general store
|Five Hurts across three generations! This family means business|
|Dad got them started, and Asher finished them off|
A good deal of work was also done on adding finishing touches—it's the little things that count!
A double-swinging door for the restaurant, just to give that classic
kickin'-in-the-door outlaw feel
|A sink and counter adds the homely touch|
|Solid steel bars divide the sheriff from his catch of the day|
The ticket counter for the railway station sports wrought-iron
|In case there was any mistaking which one was the sheriff's office!|
|Ready—lift! Is that one of our new 7th Graders?|
|We certainly turned heads driving down State Street!|
|A place for everything and everything in its place!|
|Thanks, EnergyPartners Fund!|
Six strangely familiar villains, immortalized through the
magic of lamination and synchronized photons
Who knows what the coming year will bring? Don't forget to subscribe to this blog, and we'll let you know! And go explore the Wild West town next time you're there; you won't be disappointed.
Til next time!