Class projects makes life easier for community

CRAIG COUNTY – With the pounding of hammers and the buzzing of saws, you can bet Mark St. Leger’s class at Craig County High School is working on another project to make life easier and more comfortable for both the school and the community.

The class of 20 students in grades 10-12 finished up their latest project, a handicap platform for the grandstands at the CCHS football stadium, just in time for the big homecoming game on Oct. 12.

Mark St. Leger's cabinet-making and carpentry students who built the handicap viewing stands are, from left, Taylor Craft, Jennifer Martin, Nat Jennings, Alya Ratliff, Alex Carper and Andrew Newby. Photo by Gwen Johnson

The 8-by-20-foot platform which has a 20-foot ramp was built with 2-by-6-inch boards and pressure treated just like the four heavy duty picnic tables students previously made for the school.

“The students built the platform from scratch,” said St. Leger. “They drew up the blueprint, laid out the building lines, estimated all the materials and raw lumber and started cutting.” Students in the cabinet-making and carpentry class also learned to look up building codes and built the deck to code with a notched and joined foundation, St. Leger said.

Across the front of the platform, the railing is lowered so people in wheelchairs can see over it, and there is a ledge for food and drinks. Across the back are benches for caretakers to sit.

Students actually used wheelchairs to make sure they had the railing across the front at a proper height. The project took the class three weeks to complete.

Last year the class made a ticket booth from their own blueprint to be used during sports activities. To insure comfort, students insulated the building and installed paneling inside as well as electricity. The house was built inside the shop and later moved outside close to the grandstands.

The purpose of this class is to teach students practical skills giving them hands on experience that they can use in their everyday life or to get jobs once they graduate, St. Leger added.