Students at the Delaware Area Career Center’s construction program are wrapping up another project for the community after being asked to build duck houses at Delaware State Park.
DACC Construction instructor Gene Scott said Thursday that he got an email from Greg Feustel, a park ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Delaware Lake, who asked him if his students would be interested in building duck houses for the park.
According to Scott, Feustel said he saw an article about the students building dog and cat houses for a local dog warden and wanted to contact the students to see if they could help out the parks. Scott said the parks were looking to build the duck houses to help increase the wood duck population.
Scott said he gave his senior students three lab days to work on the project and said the duck houses would serve as an exam. Scott said originally they were supposed to build a picture frame, but said this was better because it’s more technical and detail-oriented.
“It was a challenge to them,” Scott said. He gave the designs to his seniors and trusted their training and skills to do the rest. “I didn’t help them with it.”
Scott said the students spend the entire semester working on building a house and liked giving the students the duck houses because it’s a small project they have to use all their skills to complete.
“There’s a lot more detail [in the duck house project],” Scott said. “Quality has to come to the table, not just skills.”
The students said Thursday that they enjoyed how short the project was.
“It’s nice to see a finished product,” joked Isiah Childers, a senior from Delaware Hayes High School.
Zayne McManus, a senior from The American School, said the project came at the perfect time.
“It was convenient,” McManus said. “It acted as a hands-on exam to use our finishing skills.” McManus said finishing skills are things like getting measurements exactly right, following the print and putting it all together.
“It’s not very often you get to build a house for a duck,” added Evan Ross, a senior from Westerville Central High School.
Scott said the project extended beyond his construction class and said that students in the DACC welding course were also contacted to create metal ramps the ducks can use to climb out of the houses.
Bryce Johanson, a senior at Delaware Hayes High School, said he and other welding students spent one lab day cutting out the ramps from grill metal for the 14 duck houses.
Scott said after all the duck houses are completed they will be given to the DACC landscaping students, who will go to Delaware State Park with Feustel and install the houses high in the trees there.
Scott estimated the houses would be installed in the next few weeks.
Scott said he has also been contacted by a park ranger at Alum Creek State Park and asked to build duck houses for that park.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.