By Brandi Makuski
Students from the Stevens Point School District will have a hand in building part of the city’s future.
As many as 20 students from construction classes at SPASH will assist building new bathrooms and a pavilion at Mead Park on the city’s west side. The measure was unanimously approved at Monday’s School Board meeting and follows plans for other improvements at the park, to include additional parking approved by the city earlier this year.
In a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the district and the city, the students will be working under the supervision of the city, which will act as the general contractor. The district will provide “curricular oversight, program guidance and resources to SPASH and various technical education programs” to support the students.
Students chosen for the project will work a minimum of one three-hour slot each week between September 1 and June 3, 2016.
At the July 13 school board meeting, Board Member Kim Shirek thanked the city for “realizing our students and staff can build a home or building that is safe to walk in to”.
Shirek was highly critical of the district’s decision not to utilize student labor for the Life Skills Center last year, where some in the district alluded to safety concerns for structures built by students.
Board President Meg Erler applauded the move, saying it would instill a sense of pride for students who remain in the community after graduation.
“It’s something for the students that, not only are they going to gain skills, but every time they go back to that park in the future, they’re going to be able to tell their friends, their kids, their grand-kids they were part of building it,” Erler said. “It’s a pretty neat opportunity.”
The new construction is expected to cost $200,000.