QEDHS students help build timber frame for Thunder Bay school
Tyllore Martelle - Staff Writer
What started as a project in 2016 has now grown into a successful partnership between two schools. Grade 11 and 12 construction students from Queen Elizabeth District High School (QEDHS) worked with their teacher and experienced timber framer Matt Culham to build a timber frame for Kingsway Park Public School in Thunder Bay.
The timber frame will be used as an outdoor classroom for the students at Kingsway Park.
Principal of Kingsway Park Darren Lentz shared some of the ways this outdoor classroom will benefit his school. “We do a lot of activities outside and we have an outdoor experiential academy that will also make use of this.” Lentz confided that his partnership with QEDHS students was specially chosen. “They are one of the only ones that I know of that are running a unique program like they’re running there. I have a relationship with the school and the community so I thought it would be a great partnership.”
QEDHS students have built structures in Sioux Lookout but this is their first time building something for out of town.
QEDHS teacher Matt Culham shared his thoughts on the project. “I think it was definitely a nice experience for them to be a part of making something bigger than just something they can take home themselves. I think they were pretty blown away at the impact they had on the students in Thunder Bay and the appreciation that they were shown.”
Kingsway Park received funding for an outdoor classroom from Ontario Power Generation a little over a year ago which began the partnership between the two schools. “They gave us a grant of $5000 and once they heard that there would be students building the outdoor classroom we put in another grant application and received another $5000,” Lentz commented.
After the school was awarded the grants, Lentz contacted Culham and asked if it was something his students would be interested in.
“The whole idea behind Matt and I talking was to have students giving to students,” Lentz concluded. He added that his school is very grateful to the Sioux Lookout students and Culham for their hard work and beautiful structure.
The timber frame is the first outdoor classroom at Kingsway Park and the only timber frame classroom in the city.
The QEDHS students continue to work on projects for the community.