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DL students build house for a cause

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DL students build house for a cause
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Some students thought it would be fun to do a project with friends, others have thought about a construction career.

Either way, the result of this year's Building Trades class at Detroit Lakes High School was a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom house, which will go to a family in need.


The class held an open house Tuesday night for the public to come view their handiwork.

The class, taught by Dan Jorgenson, is a year long, but students can add the class mid-year if they wish.

This was Jorgenson's sec-ond year teaching the class. Last year, he designed the floor plan himself, but this year, the house was pre-sold and the owners got to decide what the blueprint looked like.

The house features vaulted ceilings in the living room and kitchen area, lots of closet space, and a master suite with a walk-in closet and handicap accessible bath-room. There is also a space for an elevator, which was added at the owner's request.

Jorgenson said the house for next year is already pre-sold as well. All the supplies the class needs goes through the Federal Housing Author-ity.

Three classes of about 17 students each participated in building the house from start to finish.

Jorgenson said they started building about a month and a half into the school year, since the owners wanted to make some last minute changes.

Although much of the finishing work isn't com-pleted, like trimming the windows and doorways and installing flooring, the class went farther this year than any class before them.

"Maybe one day we can get it completely finished," Jorgenson said. "We can get some cabinets in here maybe."

Kenneth Rogers, 17, said he was happy with the overall product, but wished they could have finished it off more.

"I wish I could stick around and learn more," he said.

He'll likely learn more in the future, though. Rogers is considering a career in con-struction.

"I like working with my hands," the 11th-grader said. "I want to be able to build my own house one day."

Brianna Bremseth, 16, was the only girl in the class, and the first girl to take the class in the last few years.

Although it was a chal-lenge at times, Bremseth said she thought she pulled her own weight against the boys.

"It was fun and a good experience," she said.

The students will be able to use the skills they learned when they're living on their own, Jorgenson added, or if they end up doing construc-tion for a living.

"It's important to know this kind of stuff," he said.

Jorgenson said the stu-dents worked well together, and were split up into groups for different stages of the project.

"There are a few kids that are better leaders," he said, "but we just break them up and let them have at it."

Working with his friends was part of the appeal of tak-ing the class, said Jay Feuillerat, 17.

Although he said he usu-ally works construction in the summers, he said it's not something he necessarily wants to do for the rest of his life.

Feuillerat, whose class was held in the final, seventh class period of the school day, said the most enjoyable part was doing the framing of the house and watching the walls go up.

A close second? "I also liked the 7th hour treats."