February 22nd, 2019 on a beautiful late-winter day, 9 ABC Carpentry
Apprentices, under the guidance of their instructor, Gary Roehrig, installed
custom-made, heavy-duty cabinets into two of the houses in the Gas Utility
Construction Training Neighborhood on the Beaver Dam campus. The carpenter
apprentices built the cabinets in the woodshop on the West Bend campus, where
they attend school, as part of their Advanced Cabinetmaking course. This course
was developed and is being taught by Mr. Roehrig, a long-time instructor for
the apprenticeship at Moraine Park.
between the apprenticeship program and the Gas Utility Construction program
began unwittingly two years ago when, as part of their formal instruction, the
carpenter apprentices built six 8×12 foot ‘sheds’ to gain practice designing
and building small wooden structures. The original intent of this effort was to
sell the sheds to local business or homeowners for use as brat-fry stands or
for personal use. During the same time, planning was well underway to create
the new gas program on the Beaver Dam campus, when the idea arose to use the 6
sheds—now called ‘houses’—to form a training neighborhood that gas program
students could use for their own training.
took hold, and even expanded to include two additional houses that were
configured to be able to store tools and small equipment, thus making a
training neighborhood of 8 houses. In late April, 2018, the 8 houses were
transported from the West Bend woodshop and placed on concrete pads at the
Beaver Dam campus, in time for the new program to start in June. Business and
industry partners who contributed to the gas program capital campaign had
plaques attached to the sides of the houses in recognition of their generosity.
phase of the partnership was reaching its’ end, a collaborative idea between
Steve Horvath, Associate Dean of Trades, and Gary Roehrig came up, which was to
have this year’s carpenter apprentices build the cabinets for the 2 extra
houses. The intent in installing the heavy-duty cabinets is that in the future,
the gas program students and instructor will be able to store supplies and
small equipment out ‘in the field’, where it will be handy to access, rather
than have to go back into the main lab for what is needed. For their part, the
carpenter apprentices gained valuable skills in designing and building
top-quality cabinets from scratch.
task was completed in the early afternoon of Feb. 22nd, Associate
Dean Horvath thanked the carpentry apprentices and their instructor, telling
them they had accomplished a task that is much appreciated and one which will
have a long-lasting positive impact on another program in the college.