KPBA teams up with Work Force students to build Gazebo

Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2007


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  Work Force Development students under the direction of Matt Widaman and Bob Hammer construct a beautiful gazebo at the Soldotna Sports Center.

SoHi junior Tanner Waterbury nails a screen frame in place as the Work Force Development students build a gazebo for the Home Builders Show.

The Kenai Peninsula Builders Association’s scholarship program hit the nail on the head at this year’s Home Show. It was a win, win, win, project according to Workforce Development instructor Matt Widaman, “This was an excellent opportunity for our team of students from Central Peninsula high schools to partner with the [Builder’s Association] to use all the components of the Workforce Development shop. It gave them hands-on experience in design, drafting, welding, carpentry and construction of the gazebo. Bob Hammer with the Homebuilders Association has done a fine job bringing this project together and working with the team. The kids knew their efforts were raising scholarship funds while they were learning skills, and the final win was the holder of the lucky ticket who gets to enjoy this fine gazebo as part of their home,” said Widaman.


Work Force Development students under the direction of Matt Widaman and Bob Hammer construct a beautiful gazebo at the Soldotna Sports Center.

Bob Hammer is the former president of the Kenai Peninsula Builders Association and vice president of the Alaska Homebuilders Association. “We’ve been aware for quite a while that we don’t have enough kids coming up in the trades to meet the demand for jobs, so we’re pursuing this partnership with Workforce Development to encourage young people to learn a trade and understand that these are not only available jobs, but well-paying jobs. All the proceeds from the raffle ticket sales go directly to our scholarship fund, thanks to the folks at Spenard Builders Supply who donated all the materials,” Hammer told the Dispatch.

“Bob came to us with a plan for the gazebo and the materials he needed to provide the work experience for the kids and raise some money for the Homebuilders scholarship fund. SBS is a strong supporter of the Homebuilders Association and we were happy to step up to the plate with the materials he needed. Bob really did a tremendous job with this project; he got the kids to respond and work like they were a professional crew on a job,” said Jeff Warton, SBS assistant manager at the Kenai store.

Designing the gazebo also proved to be an educational opportunity for the team because it had to be moveable so it could be re-assembled on the winner’s location. “We fabricated an aluminum hood for the roof which vents the fire pit that sits on a tiled floor in the center of the gazebo. It’s quite a structure and the kids have done a very professional job. Someone’s going to have a real nice structure for a five dollar ticket. Last year we sold 2,500 tickets and this year we will be awarding three $1,000 scholarships,” added Hammer. The winner was chosen Sunday night at the 28th Annual Home Show.

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