With the new Perry High School Building Trades Program gearing up for an August kickoff, eight PHS students assembled themselves Friday around surveyors from Bolton and Menk Inc., the city of Perry’s engineering consultant.
Working with a laser level and GPS receivers, magnetic locators and shovels, the students learned the basics of surveying from the Bolton and Menk crew.
“Our survey staff had a great time yesterday teaching Perry High School students about land surveying,” said a Bolton and Menk spokesperson Saturday on Facebook. “The students learned how to lay out lots, locate property lines and create a plat of survey.”
And what better lots to survey than those on which the building-trades students will erect their first houses? The city donated the six lots lying along the north side of Otley Avenue between 10th and 12th streets as well as the two lots east of the Hamlin Bell apartments on the south side of Willis Avenue. These parcels will see the first years’ houses if things go as planned with the program.
Perry City Administrator Sven Peterson thanked Bolton and Menk for donating time to teach the PHS students. Peterson said he is “proud to partner with a firm that truly cares about our community and teaching the next generation.”
Once the building-trades program is rolling, PHS Industrial Technology Instructor Chad Morman plans to teach five to seven seniors and five to seven juniors in each class, with juniors able to take the course again as seniors, thus passing on experience to the younger students with each succeeding year.
The DMACC Perry VanKirk Career Academy will also offer college credit for the classes, creating an additional benefit. In addition, DMACC will provide the construction tools for the program.
Morman, who led a similar program at Greene County High School, said Perry-area suppliers and construction firms have expressed support for the program, and adding eight new homes to Perry’s housing stock over the next eight years would be a boon for the local housing market.
Plans are also afoot for some local contractors to work with Perry Economic Development to build some larger, higher-dollar speculative houses in Perry.