The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

November 7, 2012

‘We’re the crew’

Group builds new concession stand


DANVILLE — Whoever will occupy the new concession stand at Danville High School next year will have about the best seats in the house for football and other events.

“They will be fighting to work there,” said building trades class instructor Jim Humrichous.

DHS building trades class members were busy this week putting the service windows and basic frame up for the separate concession stand building south of the football field by the scoreboard.

The building will be separated into two sections. One side will be the concession stand. The other side will be a 24-foot by 24-foot storage area for the band and music department. There also will be attic space in the building.

Humrichous estimates the school district will save about $20,000 by having the students construct the building.

The class hopes to have the shell finished by Thanksgiving, for inside work to start.

Talk about a new concession stand started a few years back.

The current concession stand, attached to the high school, dates back to about a 1924 addition.

“It’s too small and rickety,” Humrichous said.

In talking with Superintendent Mark Denman and Danville High Principal Mark Neil, using the building trades class for the project was discussed as a way for the class to receive more hands-on experience and for the school district to save money. The school district purchased about $11,000 in supplies. Humrichous said a contractor could cost three times that to construct the building.

The old concession stand may be used to sell Vikings wear.

The students started construction almost two weeks ago, after a concrete pad was poured.

Humrichous said he’s kind of glad the project was this fall instead of in the hot summer. But the colder weather still didn’t stop students from sweating from their hard work.

“I’m sweating already,” said Skyler Griffin.

Griffin said he loves “the outdoors-ness” of the class. He likes working on construction projects and cars and other things. He took building trades last year and also had welding and shop classes with Humrichous.

Griffin took the lead on doing some cutting of lumber and measurements for the building.

Other DHS building trades class members John Betancourt and Thomas Woods Jr. said the class enhances their math skills with the numbers and measurements.

“It’s hands-on,” Woods said, adding that he wants to go into diesel mechanics.

“I’m learning special skills I will use in the future,” Betancourt said.

He said he might go into welding, auto mechanics or home construction after his schooling.

The students also have made dog houses, a tree bench in front of the high school, a shed used as a ticket booth at the high school and they also have worked on a Habitat for Humanity house.

At one point working this week on a task, Betancourt said “I got this Mr. H.”

Humrichous replied, “You got it John. You’re the man.”

Humrichous said the class members apply the math and team work skills they’ve learned with the hands-on projects. They do quality work, he added.

He’s seen the students grow and develop “kind of a little swagger, of ‘we’re the construction crew.’”

“They can work pretty independently on their own,” Humrichous added. “We move pretty quickly.”