NORTH BEND — The North Bend High School Trade Building is expected to be finished in two weeks.
Equipment for the trade classes won’t be moved in until the end of the month, according to NBHS Principal Darrell Johnston.
“Right now they are putting bricks up, which was the big hold up,” he said during spring break last week. “I’m ecstatic. When you look at the space these kids are coming from and going into, there’s a lot of value placed on this program.”
Work on the new Trade Building at North Bend High School was near completion in this photo from April.
Completing the project is Tom E. Gayewski Construction, which has allowed students enrolled in the new construction courses to observe the work as its being done.
“The students came through a number of times and were showed what’s going on,” said Tom Gayewski, who has been in charge of construction. “I showed students from the foundation to the roof how it’s put together. They need to see the whole product, not just a finished one. It’s a trade school, so you have to look at all the trades.”
For Gayewski, he attended a trade school of his own while still in New York, one he said was “ten times as big as this.”
“I love it and think these kids will love it too,” he said. “It’s a career and we need construction workers.”
Johnston shared part of Gayewski’s story, explaining that once students finished the trade program and walked out, “the union is waiting outside to give them a job,” he said.
“Those same opportunities are going on here,” Johnston said. “Contractors can’t get enough laborers. A lot of people in the trades, once the recession hit, looked for work in other careers, and now people are aging out of the trades too.”
Once the trade building opens for classes, Johnston said it will hold six sections, allowing 150 students to use the space.
“This year we offered a class for 8th graders, as well as high school students,” he said. “They have the option to go into the trades for one term and they were full. I have not had a single student who wanted out. We have a great instructor for the program and we’re fortunate to have him. We’re also fortunate to have Tom Gayewski here and have the kids see this go up.”
As for the work on the new trade building, which sits on the back campus of NBHS, Gayewski said it has gone well.
“When kids came in to see the work, their eyes got big,” he said. “The gleam in their eyes is a Kodak moment.”