Ganje Group

Back row, from left: Kaleb Justice, Tanner Rankin, Carter Cloutier, Ryan Daszczyszak, Reece Kulzer, Amber Hinz. Front row, from left: Derek Rademaker, Dylan Anderson, Adam LaBathe 

Many people have heard of “The House That Jack Built.” It is the title of a poem, as well as a movie. There is a popular book entitled “The House That Love Built.” Have you ever heard about “The House That A Warrior Built”?

If you haven’t, you can go see the real thing in progress in the Whispering Waters development, located off of West Griffin Street in Amery.

Some time ago, administration at the school district of Amery came up with the idea of having a Technical Education class from Amery High School construct a dwelling to be sold, and instructor Josh Ganje hopes that by June of 2019 the group he is leading on this project will be putting the ‘For Sale’ sign in the yard.

The group of Amery High School students Ganje is working with are enrolled in the Building Trades class. This class is part of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. The students participating in Building Trades are in 10th, 11th, and 12th grades and began the process by enrolling in Ganje’s ‘Understanding Construction’ class. Next, they applied for a spot on the Construction Academy team and completed OSHA 10 safety training. The building site is their classroom where from 7:45A.M. to 9:20A.M. students get first-hand experience in the construction industry.

The kids are a part of every aspect of the building process and recently met with Building Inspector Craig Moriak. He discussed building code with the group and pointed out the importance of working together. He explained everything that he will be looking at during the process and took the time to answer questions.

“An inspector does not have to know all of the answers, but he does need to know where to find them,” Moriak said. As the inspector stated dimensions he felt were necessary in certain areas of the project, Ganje would then point to the student he was bestowing the responsibility upon.

Moriak shared with the students, “To be an inspector it is a whole lot easier when you know what it is like to have had your boots dirty. That way you know what the guys are going through out here working the trades.”

Moriak and Ganje both agree that there is a lack of workers in many of the construction trades. Ganje said, “The goal of the CTE Construction Academy is to promote an interest, and hopefully, a career in the trades.” Moriak stressed that there are a lot of great job opportunities and a great deal of demand.

“I think this is a great learning experience. There are days out here when it is going to be tough, but you wouldn’t learn even half as much as you are, if you were only in the classroom,” Moriak said. With that he wished the students well and approved for trusses to be delivered.

With those well wishes the student builders will now move on to the next steps that will eventually include electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and finish work. Many AHS student hands will be a part of the process. The project will also involve input from additional Amery High School CTE programs. Their parts of the operation may include landscaping or marketing the sale of the home.

Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Working together from start to finish on such an undertaking is leaving a mark on the community; and regardless of what their future careers may entail, each of the Amery High School student Warriors that have had a hand in this project is bound to have an impact on them.

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