Students from Franklin-Simpson High School have partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Simpson County to build a shed for a family in need.
“Habitat will build a home for a needy family and then we will provide the labor to build the shed that will be behind their home,” said Samuel Evans, agriculture teacher at FSHS.
For the past five or six years the agriculture structure design class has worked with Habitat to provide the labor to build the sheds required for all Habitat houses.
“They do a really good job, they buy quality materials, they paint it for us, they caulk it and put the hardware on it and it is a really nice building,” said Allen Bush, executive director for Habitat for Humanity of Simpson County. “It is a really solid, quality building.”
Evans said the class is building a 12x8 shed with the students doing everything from drawing the plan out, doing a cost analysis, material selection, a cut list and then going to Lowe’s to pick up the material themselves.
“I am perfectly fine with letting them make mistakes as long as it doesn’t cost Habitat money, but I want them to have the experience of doing something, figuring out all that didn’t work, what do we need to do different,” Evans said.
The students will go to the classroom first to learn about what section they are building and then move to the workshop to start working, he said. They learn everything and shop for everything a section at a time like the foundation then the walls and roof.
Evans and his student teacher, Abby Phillips, rotate who they are helping in the workshop and who teaches in the classroom. Once the foundation is completed the class gets put into two groups to work on different parts of the shed as Phillips and Evans help them.
Phillips said this is her first time building a shed so she is learning as much as the students are from the class.
“He has told me about mistakes that were made in the past and how they are working to correct those and so far this is the best building yet,” she said.
She said the students have really progressed since they started the shed. When they first started the students thought they could just go in and start building, but quickly realized they had to have a plan and steps to complete.
Austin Hines, senior at FSHS, said they have learned they need to measure twice and cut once. Zachary Jones, senior at FSHS, added that Evans told them that from the beginning of the class.
The two said going into the class they knew they would be building a shed because they had seen other seniors build one. Jones said it is a very creative activity and helps them learn from their mistakes.
“I think it is great to see what we are doing is going to help some people,” Hines said.
Both students said it was a great way to gain some experience and insight into construction as well as a way to give back to the community.
Bush said the families are always surprised to see the shed on their property because they expect something cheap and they get a solid and handmade building.
“It is a great benefit to us and I think it is wonderful that it comes from the students at the high school,” Bush said. “I hope they get a good feeling out of it because they are doing us a big favor and a family a big favor.”