The next time you’re at the Columbia County Fair, be sure to check out our students’ handiwork. This spring, the Residential Construction class at Chatham High School built a new information booth for the fairgrounds. The class, which is offered every other year and taught by CHS technology teacher Shawn Caldwell, gives students the opportunity to learn carpentry skills while building real-world projects that benefit their community.
The Fair project included an 8′ x 12′ enclosure with an 8′ x 12′ open-air covered structure attached to it, which replaced a smaller, older structure near the Church St. entrance to the fairgrounds. The class spent three weeks going over the plans and building the walls in the school shop, then brought the prefabricated sections over to fairgrounds for two full days of onsite building.
During the build, the students learned how to frame walls with windows and doors, make a wall “square” and “plumb,” install sheathing, install beams and posts, set trusses, install fascia, sheath a roof, and install a roofing system from drip edge to shingles and ridge vent. They also learned how to read blueprints, make accurate measurements, and use hand and power tools safely and effectively.
In the past, the class has built sheds for the Northern Columbia County Pop Warner football program, the Chatham Little League, and our school district.
“This has been the most challenging project we have taken on,” Mr. Caldwell said. “I’d like to thank the fair board for allowing us to do this project. The students and I have had a great time and appreciate the opportunity.”