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Sat, Aug. 24

Students doing remodel job at Mingus <br><i>Contract with students saves school district thousands</i>

Staff photo by Philip Wright

A SUMMER job for two Mingus students is helping to remodel three classrooms. Eugene Pearson, left, and Keenan Reiter put together counters that will be placed in the remodeled computer labs.

The students are completely remodeling three rooms in Building 400. When they are finished, the rooms will be full-service computer laboratories, one science lab and two classrooms.

Dave Dumas, director of career and technology education, said bids for the remodeling job, without a general contractor's fees, were $28,000. Dumas decided it could be done for less money by having students contract for some of the work. In addition, Dumas was able to enlist the mentoring help of area contractors and businesses to help the students.

"This whole thing is like an internship in construction remodeling," Dumas said.

Even paying the four students on a four-week contract for the work, the labor and materials will cost the district about $20,000, according to Dumas. But the savings is even greater than the difference between the bids and the actual costs. "We're doing a lot more than what was on the bid," he said. The extras include painting each of the rooms and putting in counters.

"We're able to do this because area contractors are coming in and teaching the kids how to do all of this," Dumas said. When the remodeling is over, Dumas will hire a couple of different students to put the new furniture together that has been purchased for the labs. Dumas said the furniture-supply company wanted $3,500 to send in people to assemble the pieces. Dumas said hiring the two students on a two-week contract will save the district about $2,500.

Scott Griffin, recent graduate from Mingus and member of the Building Skills team that will compete in a national competition in Kansas City in July, is Dumas' crew leader for the remodeling project. Eugene Pearson, Keenan Reiter and John Winchester are the other crew members.

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