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Carpentry students help out at Rowan Helping Ministries

A group of high school students is making renovations to Rowan Helping Ministries possible.

Four Salisbury High School students and their carpentry teacher, Scott Eagle, are doing the necessary demolition for a contractor

The students are participating in one of several summer academies the Rowan-Salisbury School System is offering this summer.

These academies are designed to help students receive real job experience and to help the community simultaneously, said Mandy Mills, the district’s lead career development coordinator.

“It gives students the opportunity to apply the things they learned in the classroom,” she added.

Students from any school in the district who had taken the appropriate prerequisite classes were able to apply for the summer academies. They are paid $100 for a week of work.

Other summer academies include two Microsoft Word and Excel classes for community members, which will be taught by students who are certified in the programs. A cabinetry class will remodel a foods classroom at South Rowan High School, and a foods academy will fix lunches for the other academies.

Each academy is one week long, although some have two offerings.

When Mills asked Eagle to lead the academy he agreed, and immediately thought of Rowan Helping Ministries as he decided on a project for the students to work on.

Eagle went to high school with Rowan Helping Ministries Executive Director Kyna Grubb.

He initially asked Grubb if the students could build a storage building, much like the one they’re also building for West Rowan High School’s agriculture class.

Grubb told him that they didn’t need a storage building, but that they did need some demolition work done in their old building. The organization is in the process of shifting its clothing and food storage to make room for more offices and meeting areas for crisis intervention.

“The timing was perfect,” said Kris Mueller, resource development assistant with Rowan Helping Ministries.

Eagle contacted the contractor, who came in and marked each wall to show the students what to knock down and what to leave standing.

Four Salisbury High School carpentry students will spend three days this week tearing down those walls. They’ll also spend one day completing the storage building at West Rowan High School.

The students took sheetrock down, cut through steel studs to remove the walls and recycled the steel.

“You basically disassemble the walls,” Eagle said.

He added that this project is “not similar at all” to what these students do in class. “It’s an opportunity to see the other side of the construction field.”

The project allows the students to see how a wall is built and helps them develop new skills.

“A lot of times we do course and bookwork,” but we don’t have enough shop time, he added.

Rising senior Ronnie Rollings said he decided to attend the summer academy “just to learn the proper way to do construction.”

“I’ve never done anything like this before,” said rising junior Andrean Joyner. “I’ve put things together, but never really took things apart.”

Eagle said his students are hard workers and “well mannered.”

“They’re just doing it on their own,” he said.

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