- Associated Press - Sunday, December 25, 2016

EUREKA, S.D. (AP) - Work on the new school might be all done in Eureka, but there are still a few more structures being built.

Shop teacher Ray Tracy has his classes building a series of 4-foot-by-8-foot buildings - about the size of a backyard storage shed - that will resemble different structures found in any town. There’s a bank, a general store, a school and a post office, among others.

The eighth grade was finishing up the first structure, a house, earlier this month, the Aberdeen American News (https://bit.ly/2hAR44O ) reported.

Students are enjoying the challenge.

“We knew it would be a little bit harder, but we wanted to do it,” said Tyler Raines, eighth-grader. “It’s pretty fun. We’ve had some good experiences doing it.”

Tyler said he thought that working on roofing would be his favorite part of the project, even though the class hadn’t yet started doing so.

“I thought it was cool that we were going to build real buildings,” said Kodi Retzer, eighth-grader.

Kodi said building the walls was her favorite part of the process.

Not only do shop students get to learn building techniques, they get to make something for younger children and future generations, Tracy said.

“Each building concept - how to lay out a structure, how to frame, how to use tools - eventually the building trades class I would like to take and plumb the building, and actually put electricity in the building itself,” Tracy said.

The tiny village will then be landscaped, he said. The shop classes will add plants and shrubbery.

“It teaches kids how to build a structure and also how to maintain it,” Tracy said.

“And then give back to the younger kids here at school,” Superintendent Bo Beck said.

Shop teachers from other towns have been interested in the project, Tracy said.

When complete, all of the structures will be strategically placed to make them easy to monitor, Beck said. None of the structures will have doors. That’s to avoid pinched fingers.

“The teachers, when they’re out on the playground, they can look directly into each building and see what’s going on,” Tracy said.

The floors of the buildings are made with treated wood, meaning a wet floor won’t be a problem, he said. The students will paint the structures inside and out.

The small size of the building makes them moveable. They’re built on pallets and can be picked up with a pallet jack. As other projects come up, the buildings can be moved into other corners of the shop.

The new playhouses come with a whole new playground space, Beck said. The new high school was built on the old playground and, during that time, the playground equipment was put in storage and the kids played in an empty field near the school.

The playground equipment was installed after the old high school was razed and cleared. The playhouses are part of a complete playground makeover.

“It will be our little mini city of Eureka,” Beck said.

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Information from: Aberdeen American News, https://www.aberdeennews.com


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