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Students 'deck out' local homes

Students 'deck out' local homes


Members of Gretna High School’s vocational building construction class gather at a local home to finish a deck they’ve been working on. The class takes on projects in the community, offering the work at material cost to customers.

Each year, students in Gretna High School’s vocational building construction class get hands-on experience, right in Gretna’s own backyards.

The class — a double-period class offered only to seniors — welcomes community members to solicit student work, using it as an educational tool to teach the skills in a real work environment.

This year, students have been working on a few decks, most recently working to wrap up a 16-foot by 25-foot deck for a Gretna teacher and another deck in Lincoln Place.

The students have completed four projects this year.

“We’re supposed to a build a wall in the maintenance building and have a couple of little jobs to do, but the deck projects have worked out to be pretty big and complex this year with some of the materials the customers picked,” said teacher Jason Novotny.

The students can typically construct decks, storage sheds, pour concrete patios and build pergolas, things along those lines.

Students draw the plans and estimate the cost of the project before creating a material list for the customer to purchase. Customers get the work done at the cost of the materials.

With 18 students interested in taking the class next year — a large influx — Novotny is seeking local projects to add to his proposed list.

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