Construction students build sheds for sale as part of course

Photo by Lindsay Cox | From right to left: Zachary Jackson, Caleb Lyons, Joey Adams, Zach LaPayne, and Jesse Boone, all parkland college students, work together on building a shed during their construction class.

Photo by Lindsay Cox |
From right to left: Zachary Jackson, Caleb Lyons, Joey Adams, Zach LaPayne, and Jesse Boone, all Parkland College students, work together on building a shed during their construction class.

Alex Davidson

Staff Writer

Sheds built by Parkland students are being sold for the price of the materials used to build them, $1,600, and the proceeds will go back into funding for the college’s carpentry program.

The sheds are built by students in CIT-115, rough carpentry, a class in which students learn how to use tools and techniques for doing the layout, measurement, and framing necessary in residential construction.

The class runs for eight weeks each semester and is taught by Gregory Walburg from the Engineering Science and Technologies department. It contains both the building of the sheds and lectures.

According to Walburg, the sheds are narrowly completed in the class time.

“It’s a tight schedule to both build the shed and do the lecture material, but we get them done in eight weeks,” he says.

Layout, measurement, and framing are not the only things students learn in the class, however. They also have to learn how to read drawings when working on a construction project. This is important if they build based on a plan. Communication skills are important as well, because if students don’t have them while working in construction, not only does it make the job more difficult to do but it makes it much more dangerous—as a lack of communication can lead to accidents on site.

Students also learn how long it takes to complete tasks. Time management is a very important part of construction and learning how long it will take to complete each part of a project is an important part of estimating timeframes and meeting deadlines.

There is a focus on proper safety practices in the class. Students are taught how to be safe while on a construction job. This is meant to prevent future accidents when they move into the work force.

The class is required for the construction management program at Parkland. Construction management is a 68-credit hour program that teaches the skills students need to go into careers in construction.

CIT-115 isn’t the only construction design and management course in the program, either. In fact, the majority of the program is made up of 35 credit hours of required CIT classes, showing that CIT is important when it comes to construction.

Each semester, rough carpentry has between 12–15 students. These students work together to build two sheds per semester.

These sheds have been effective at bringing the community outside of Parkland in and getting them involved in the school. The sheds, which have been sold for years, can be found across the Champaign-Urbana area.

The walls and rafters of the sheds are made of two-by-fours, with oriented strand board components and vinyl siding on the exterior. The floor is made by treated two-by-sixes and two-by-eights. The floors are also made of plywood. The sheds are normally eight-by-twelve feet, but that’s not always the case.

“We do custom build them for people who want something slightly different,” Walburg says.

If you are interested in purchasing one of the student-built sheds, contact Walburg at gwalburg@parkland.edu.