By: Molly Hanzidiakou
Outside the doors of the Algonquin Perth campus are empty shells of half-finished sheds waiting to be completed by students. However, until warmer weather arrives, students will have to do what they can indoors.
Every winter since 1996, the first-year students of the construction and advanced housing program, as well as the carpentry and joinery heritage program, share a major project of building eight-by-12 foot sheds. Once these the sheds are completed, they will be sold to the public and available for pick-up after May 14.
At the start of the school year, the construction and carpentry programs were hit by a huge surprise.
Patrick Murphy, professor of the carpentry and joinery heritage program, received an email from a community member named Linda Lennox. She stated that she wanted to donate 11,000 board feet of pine material to the program.
“I get a lot of emails for various things, but when I saw this one I couldn’t believe it,” said Murphy. “I answered back right away. This was a huge donation and fantastic for the program.”
The thousands of feet of pine would not be used for this year’s sheds alone. There was enough material donated to be spread out over a few years.
In previous years, the sheds were not always used for the average use. People use them for a variety of things. Some as sheds, but the students have also heard of people using them for bunkie’s and chicken coops as well.
“There is a lot of flexibility on how the sheds are used and even how the students do the work,” said Murphy.
Students have to think environmentally and fulfill all requirements keeping their in-class knowledge of tools, safety and production in mind. However, they construct the sheds on their own, making all calculations and measurements how they think it would work best.
When the sheds are finally completed and the contractor delivers them to their soon-to-be homes, it’s satisfying for the students.
“This is a simpler version of what students would do on a job site,” said Eddie Cockburn, construction and advanced housing professor. “They are learning the skills they need.”