Building a partnership: Students continue work with Lennox Area Development Corporation


The Lennox Area Development Corporation (LADC) is doing more than bringing businesses and rooftops to Lennox, they are providing opportunities for local students to get real hands on experience in the building trades profession. Since 2015, the Lennox High School building trades class has partnered with the LADC on several projects. In 2015 it was a governor’s home, in 2016 a single-family home on Poplar and this year, a twin home near the Meadows Housing Development.

LADC board member Todd Shuman said the housing study completed several years ago showed a need for housing in the Lennox community and the LADC has really tried to focus efforts in that direction.

Another LADC board member, Sharese Ihnen said, “We hope that these projects can not only help in the betterment of the community but also possibly in the future of one or more students.”

Building Trades Instructor Paul Kruse agrees.

“The biggest benefit for the school district and the Building Construction classes, we feel, is the experience the students get from the hands on of building a real home. The pride these kids have when they have accomplished the task that is in front of them. It’s tough to teach residential construction in the classroom. The house we build becomes the classroom. If we hadn’t partnered up with the LADC and Rob Huber, I feel this opportunity for these students would be a more of a struggle,” said Kruse.

Ihnen also notes the reward for the community, she said “The greatest reward in partnering with our youth is the future of our community. Watching a project go from the ground up to bring another rooftop to Lennox means that we are also bringing another family to Lennox. In doing so, we have also given students something to be proud of, a project to promote leadership, team work and work ethic as well as possibly a desire to continue to be involved in the building trade.”

Kruse said many of his students do go on to work in the construction field either full-time or during the summer when they are not in college. Some pursue a career in construction management, architectural drafting, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, or any job related to construction.

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