Clovis High construction students put to the test

Students in Clovis High’s construction course work on the foundation of a tiny home built on a trailer. DANIEL LEON/CLOVIS ROUNDUP

Clovis High School students applied their knowledge in a real-life work setting on Thursday, Dec. 13.

As part of their final exam for their Career and Technical Education (CTE) Construction Pathway class, 28 student worked on the construction of five small structures, including a tiny house.

“At this point, the students are expected to work independently – demonstrating mastery knowledge in framing, construction processes and safety,” said construction teacher John “Jay” Eichmann. “This is as close as it comes to a real-world test. If students miss the mark, it will be reflected in the quality of their structure.”

With their hard hats and safety glasses on, students hammered away at their assigned project. Some groups put the finishing touches on the foundation of their structures while others raised walls.

To prepare them for the task, students worked on geometry in construction, 3D modeling, digital blueprints, estimating, generating lumber orders, framing and carpentry throughout the semester.

On top of learning about the practical application side, students also develop leadership skills by working in a team setting, added Eichmann.

The completed structures (four sheds and a tiny home) will eventually be delivered to buyers, or other schools, in the community.

“We have a variety of different uses for these structures,” said Eichmann. “We have two sheds that are staying here in the [school] district. One will go to Buchanan to help store their culinary program’s garden tools and one is going to Clovis West to help their drama department with storage. The other two sheds, as well as the tiny home, are going out to community supporters.”

While steady progress has been made, the projects won’t be completed until the end of next semester as there are still more lessons to teach.

“We have so much other curriculum to throw into this that the projects aren’t done until the end of the school year,” said Eichmann. “Just like on a construction site, we started with a blank lot. We started the process with surveying, concrete work, floor systems, and now we’re doing the walls. Next up is roof framing and then we’ll be doing roofing, electrical and siding.”

Clovis Unified’s Construction Pathway is one of 18 CTE pathways offered district-wide that provides classroom and practical learning to help students become college and career ready. The Construction Pathway has about 300 students participating in classes from Clark Intermediate through Clovis High.

Other CTE courses include pathways such as Education, Agricultural Science, Patient Care, Food Services and Hospitality, and Financial Services.