Iowa High School Teaches Truss Installation

Industry News ,

Originally Published by: Atlantic News Telegraph — June 10, 2021
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The Trades Program modifies the roof trusses so braces can be put in place.

The Atlantic High School Trades Program has been building a garage for Dave Erickson this year. They have designed the garage from scratch, and with the help of local businesses, have kept pretty busy making their plans a reality. They’ve tamped down a pad, poured footings, and a floor. They’ve recently begun raising the building, and putting up walls, the roof, and finishing the building.

This is the first year that the Trades Program has taken on a big project like this. Dexter Dodson, the Trades Program teacher, said, “This year put us out of our comfort zone, but we aren’t in over our heads." The thing that kept them from going in over their heads was spending time in the classroom. In the classroom, students learned and got experience with the tools they would use on the job site. The training paid off, as you can see with what they’ve accomplished in the past few weeks.

Allan Watt's Construction helps the Trades Program begin work to put up the trusses.

They started with framing the walls. The frames were made at the EOC building and hauled out to the job site. With the help of Allan Watt’s Construction, they were stood up. After this, the walls were sheeted with plywood and wrapped in a vapor barrier in order to keep the plywood from getting damaged by water. Roof trusses were also installed, and the roof was shingled. The Trades Program continues to work on the garage, and are putting siding on the walls, installing soffit (the finished underside of a roof), and cutting out a window.

Trades Program’s student Ryan West talked about his experience building the garage and interacting with local businesses now that the year is coming to a close. He enjoyed roofing the most because he “liked the feeling of being up high,” and also remarked that roofing was “easy to do.” West hopes to go into construction after high school. He says that, “this class has helped me out a lot for the future." In this class, he learned how to frame walls and construct roofs.

The Trades Program finishes up work on the truss.

The Trades Program has had a lot of help from local businesses as well. These businesses are Henningsen Construction, Stamp Construction, Akins Building Center, and Allan Watts Construction. These businesses provided materials, manpower, tools, and on-site training to the students. “Without these businesses, our Trades Program would not have been able to do what we’ve done this year,” Dodson said.

The Trades Program is hoping to move to bigger projects in the future, and already have another garage project lined up. As the Trades Program ramps up its efforts to teach students worthwhile and valuable skills, they will keep taking on projects. Dodson says he “hopes to move onto a small house” project as the Trades Program attracts more and more students. These students will have the job experience and knowledge to go right into the trades after high school.

The garage is being shingled by the Trades Program. The walls have been sheeted and constructed.