Edmonds School District, Lynnwood Rotary team up to build construction careers in Lynnwood

Meadowdale High senior Logan Poirot works on a duplex. He’s one of 12 advanced carpentry and construction students building two duplexes off of 175th Street Southwest in Lynnwood.

Just off Highway 99 near Northwest Motorsports in Lynnwood, students learning construction and carpentry have been hard at work on a duplex.

The 12 advanced Carpentry & Construction Program students have earned the right to build – under expert supervision – two duplexes, each about 2,200 square feet.

It’s all part of a longtime Career & Technical Education (CTE) program, involving a partnership between the district and Rotary Club of Lynnwood, which acts as the general contractor for the project.

The 12 students rotate construction duties because of COVID-19 and precautions are taken to ensure everyone’s safety.

This is more than classroom instruction: It’s a hands-on learning laboratory where students walk away with real-world construction and carpentry experience.

First-year students aren’t building the duplexes. Instead, their focus is on passing all the required Carpentry Level 1 tests. They can also apply for a level one apprenticeship accreditation through the Construction Industry Training Council, says Jim McGaughey , who oversees instruction for the program.

Advanced students – in their second year of the program – have been working on the first of two planned duplexes that are expected to be finished by the end of the school year. Students do much of the construction but not everything.

“They don’t do foundations now,” McGaughey says. “Just what the curriculum calls for.” That means students work on floors, walls, ceilings, roofs and stairs plus outside sheeting, sliding windows, door hanging, window trimming and doors.

The rest is handled by sub-contractors, he says.

McGaughey has help from instructor Ken Pierson and assistant Scott Johnson.

They’re wonderful people.” McGaughey says of the Rotary. “Their heart’s in the right place. They want students to learn a valuable trade they can use for the rest of their lives.”

— Story and photo courtesy Edmonds School District

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