Seeing all the growth in the Eatonton community is one thing but knowing that the students that attend school here have contributed their hard work and skills to improve our community makes it that much sweeter. Construction students at Putnam County High School have been helping our community in a big way, especially for such a young program.
This is the program’s second full year, and instructor Jonathan King has high hopes for the class to become even more involved in the community.
Last year, King’s students helped out a Putnam’s entertainment and arts hotspot, The Plaza Arts Center.
“They approached us and asked if we’d be interested in doing something like that, so of course we were like, ‘Shoot yeah, we’d love to do that.’ So, we cleaned it all out and designed a two-story storage area. It was a big project,” King explained.
King took around 40 students to the Plaza to work, and the project was mostly completed within a week but COVID caused them to end the project early. King says he hopes his students will be able to return at some point and complete some of the small finishing touches.
The class has built a shed, see saw and climbing area for the school’s two goats, Sebastian and Scuttles, who live behind the media center.
There are three steps to PCHS’s construction program. It starts off with and industry fundamentals and occupational safety course.
“It basically introduces them how to be safe. It introduces them to tools and OSHA and different safety guidelines that they would find in the real world,” explained King.
Next, the students take Intro to Construction which consists of more hands-on projects and framing. Then the students move on to Carpentry 1 which is where they develop more detailed framing techniques.
King says he is working to find certification and internship opportunities for his students.
“There is a lot of construction business around and a lot of them are looking for young, new talent,” said King. “This is only the second year it’s been here, so we haven’t quite gotten to open that door yet but we’re getting there.”
The program students work on projects 80 percent of the time that they get to choose based on the topic they are focusing on for a period of time. The class also works on outside projects for people who reach out.
“They enjoy building anything really,” he said. “They just like getting hands-on and it’s a lot more fun teaching classes where the kids are really fired up about what they’re doing.”
Anyone interested in having something constructed by the class can reach out to Jonathan King at jon_king@ putnam.k12.ga.us for more information.