Students in trades gain experience and self-esteem while giving back to the community

Before the complete stay-at-home legislation, Saugeen District Senior School trades class continued to gain construction experience while helping out a community.

Teacher Bud Halpin’s construction classes have consistently over the years contributed to a wide variety of projects throughout Port Elgin and Southampton.  “With some of our students coming from other communities, we wanted to expand our contributions,” says Halpin so that, prior to school closure due to COVID restrictions, Halpin’s Grade 10 class were busy building picnic tables for the village of Paisley.

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The class this year also has one of the highest ratios of girl students to boys at 11 to 9 and more girls are now considering going into the high-skilled trades such as carpentry.

  Teacher Bud Halpin (C) carefully oversees every project

While picnic tables were underway, there were also other projects such as Port Elgin’s Visitor Centre signage frames for the Town of Saugeen Shores.

Over the years, students have been involved in Habitat for Humanity builds, the Rotary Club pavilion at Fairy Lake in Southampton and another at Coulter Parkette in Port Elgin, contributed the shade trellis for the Port Elgin cenotaph, the Rail Trail Head building, to name only a few.

“Can you image the pride that students feel when they can go by a project and say, ‘I helped build that’,” says Halpin.  “It’s invaluable to their self-esteem and, for many, for their futures.”