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HHS building construction class completes service project at PD

Officers with the Hartselle Police Department will soon have a special place to take their meal breaks outdoors, complete with a picnic table, a grill and a covered pavilion built by the building construction class at Hartselle High School.

The class is taught by Kyle Woodard, who said working on a real-world project gives students the opportunity to learn carpentry skills needed to be successful on most construction sites.

“We currently have 10 students enrolled in building construction who have assisted in making this project possible,” Woodard said. “We have worked on this for approximately two hours per day for three weeks. Of course, rain was a factor in completing this sooner.

“Anytime we are able to take what we have learned from a textbook and bring it to life, the students grow tremendously in their knowledge and skills,” he added. “We started this building from scratch, which means students learned a wide range of things from start to finish.”

Woodard said his students learned about the layout of a building, post placement, load bearing beams, rafter design and layout, slope, pitch, birds-mouth cuts, metal roofing, lath, metal trim work, electrical conduit, electric wiring, ceiling fans, ground fault interrupt plugs, breaker boxes, and site cleanup, just by working on this project.

The project was funded by a community grant from Rep. Scott Stadthagen, in the amount of $2,000, according to Police Chief Justin Barley, who said the funds went a lot further than they would have normally thanks to the help of the community.

“When COVID started and a lot of things were shut down, we figured out there weren’t a lot of places for our officers to take meal breaks, and that was during a period of time when we were encouraging everyone – even here – to stay away from each other because we were trying to limit our vulnerability in the agency,” Barley said. “We thought it would be nice to have something outdoors, something that could be used at night, because there isn’t a lot that is open very late anymore and nothing that’s 24 hours here in town. Options for meals breaks are very limited at night.

“Lowe’s sold us the materials at their cost, and they also donated a picnic table and a very nice grill,” Barley explained. “It was a tremendous amount of money. We wound up getting a lot more than we ever expected.”

Other businesses in the area either sold materials at cost or donated labor to the project. Among those were Stuart Tanksley, owner of Pro Fence LLC and Home Depot in Decatur, who finished the underside and trim of the structure.

Corum’s Building Center in Hartselle also sold material at cost for the roof of the project.

“It’s going to be something we can use for a long time, and it gave those kids experience they needed in class,” Barley said. “It was a win-win situation for everyone.”

“Everybody seems to be excited about it,” he added. “They’re all anxious to start using it, and we are all surprised at how nice it turned out.”

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