ITE students excel in construction projects

Derek Pufahl, Staff Writer

It’s difficult to ignore the noise created by Wayne State College’s construction classes. Each semester, walking by Benthack Hall, students might hear the banging of hammers or the buzzing of drills.

And all that commotion also gets the attention of major construction companies.

Greg Worner, instructor of the ITE 202 class in WSC’s Technology and Applied Science Department said that large companies are impressed with Wayne State graduates.

Companies such as the Peter Kiewit Corporation, an international company based in Omaha have told WSC professors that WSC graduates are what they are looking for when hiring employees.

Worner said that these construction companies are urging students who are interested in the construction field to take classes with WSC.

And WSC instructors have their work cut out for them.

“Years ago kids might have been given a bit more construction experience in high school,” Worner said, “but today you can’t assume that students can even run a power tool.”

Worner said that they emphasize safety, and students are required to put a lot of time into their classes. Kids come in in for five hours of class a week for a 3 credit course, sometimes even on Saturdays.

Some of the admiration large construction companies have for WSC graduates must be credited to the long hours that students put into construction projects provided by Wayne’s local homeowners and businesses.

Construction management, drafting design and technology education majors are required to take the construction classes that take on these projects.

Last semester a shed was built for Mark and Jenny Putnam as well as a deck for Ron and Sandra Wriedt.

WSC’s construction classes have built sheds for the art building as well as the astronomy department. They’ve also built the shelter for Miss Molly’s outside picnic area.

This semester, the upper-level, 308 and 428 classes will be remodeling a house on Sherman owned by Matt Peterson.

They plan to gut out the inside, remove walls and rebuild. Experts need to be hired to do the plumbing and electrical work.

Worner is still looking for projects for his introductory construction class to work on, usually a small high-quality shed is built. The panelized construction process is done on campus and then taken to the building site and generally is finished in one day.

The cost of such operations are between the owners and the material suppliers. There are no labor costs, although a donation is asked for. Last semester $1,100 was spent on additional, commercial-quality tools for the college.