Recently Batesville Youth Baseball & Softball needed another storage building for supplies and equipment. "We were quoted $2,500 for a new shed," recalled Megan Spreckelson, the organization's secretary and Batesville Middle School family and consumer science teacher.

"I suggested at our meeting that we ask the high school construction class if they might be interested in building it for us to save some money because our finances are really tight.

"After lots of emailing back and forth with (Batesville High School engineering technology and Project Lead the Way teacher) Tim Mauzy, we got everything squared away" and 26 introduction to construction students began working on the project May 7.

She explained, "Our organization is paying for the materials and BHS construction students are supplying the labor and are able to apply concepts learned in class into a real world application."

The standard wood frame 10-by-14-foot shed has a gable roof, according to Mauzy. "We are constructing the walls and floor framing in the shop and we will be doing the final assembly and roof outside," he said in May.

The teacher noted, "This project allows students to have a very practical experience at assembling a structure." Until the project began, students had classroom activities and presentations.

"Indiana has a very acute shortage of workers in many of the skilled trades in construction and one way of getting students interested in this career is to give them positive practical experiences and this project certainly addresses that. The student who builds the shed today may be building your high-speed rail infrastructure in the near future!"

Thanks to nonstop rain in May, the shed was finished and installed on The Plex site around Memorial Day.

Spreckelson concluded, "I love this story and how it has benefited a classroom of kids and a community organization."

Debbie Blank can be contacted at debbie.blank@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.

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