The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

May 18, 2012

Ottumwa, Oskaloosa students close in on construction success

OSKALOOSA — Some day, students in Ottumwa and Oskaloosa will be able to return to their hometowns and point out their classwork to their children.

It's not a matter of saving tests and report cards. They'll literally be able to show off the homes they built in their construction trades classes.

This year, Oskaloosa students are building at 307 S. M Street. Their Ottumwa counterparts are at 88 Traxler Drive. The builds haven't always been easy. In Ottumwa, this year's build turned into finishing work because houses built in the two prior years had yet to sell.

Ron Downing, the Ottumwa students' instructor, said finishing a house that was already standing still provided the students with valuable experience.

“This year we did duct work, plumbing and electrical,” said Downing. The students also finished a 1,800 square-foot basement.

David Bower, the instructor in Oskaloosa, said a lack of familiarity with the building process was an issue at times.

“Once we got started, the kids set the forms for the foundation wall and that’s always an interesting challenge because they’re big, they’re bulky and the kids aren’t familiar with working with them,” said Bower. “But, we got them all set and we got the foundation poured.”

Bower said the skills his student obtained while working on the 1,600-square-foot home will serve them well and earned them college credits. That's only part of the real-world applications for the classes. While construction has slowed considerably in recent years, the industry itself isn't going away.

The students also learn the value of working together. Building a house alone just isn't possible.

“This class is different than a lot of classes. This class takes — and I’m just guessing at numbers here, but this class requires 80 percent team [effort] and 20 percent individual effort. There are [high school] classes where those numbers are reversed,” Downing said.

And the students' work is solid. Getting it wrong isn't an option, not when the houses must pass the same inspections as any other new residence.

“I feel good saying that the buyers are getting top-quality construction,” said Ottumwa Superintendent Davis Eidahl, “a great home in a great neighborhood that will soon have a brand new elementary school.”

Both Ottumwa and Oskaloosa students have had a chance to show off their work this week with open houses. In Ottumwa's case it's no longer about getting a buyer; both houses students constructed in past years have finally sold.

1
Text Only
Southeast Iowa
  • Former Centerville teacher drowns in Creston

    A long-time Centerville Community School District teacher and coach has been identified as the man dive teams recovered from a southeast Iowa lake on Tuesday morning.

    July 30, 2014

  • Pella PD warns of recent scam

    This scam claims to be selling items on behalf of local schools.

    July 29, 2014

  • Firefighter photo What does it take to be an Oskaloosa firefighter?

    OSKALOOSA — It has been said that there is more to being a firefighter than just putting water to flame. Oskaloosa firefighters face significant dangers each time they go to the scene of a fire and must undergo vigorous training before they go into a

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 2.21.22 PM.png VIDEO: Dog 'faints' from excitement of seeing owner

    A reunion between a Pennsylvania woman who had been living overseas for two years and her pet schnauzer has gone viral, garnering nearly 20 million views on YouTube.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Three year old case ends in prison term suspended

    A 36-year-old Moulton man was sentenced to five years in prison, all but 30 days suspended.

    July 29, 2014

  • halo-5-guardians-concept_wallpaper-1920x1080-53cf9b0098ea45ada37dc0f66bc174f5.jpg The Art of Kong

    OTTUMWA — The Mona Lisa. Whistler's Mother. Donkey Kong? Don't be so surprised, said Walter Day, that video games and the surrounding memorabilia are being considered art. The creativity and artistic vision required to create a poster, said the found

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • County attorney requests an assistant Monday morning the Appanoose County Board of Supervisors in the Courthouse boardroom moved to table a request from Appanoose County Attorney Susan C. Daniels to hire an assistant county attorney and amend her budget by $38,833.60 to cover the cost. T

    July 28, 2014

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Auditor: state budgeting better, relies on surplus DES MOINES (AP) — The state auditor in her annual review of the state budget says Iowa's political leaders have improved spending practices but Iowa still spends more than it takes in and covers the difference by dipping into a budget surplus. Audito

    July 28, 2014

  • Navy and Gold Gala photo Navy & Gold Gala proceeds support transportation needs

    The third annual Navy & Gold Gala had a wild west theme this year, part of an effort to keep things fresh and attract new people

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National