The first thing you notice is the wood. It’s beautiful gray, almost lavender tinted. And so smooth, even before the final hand sanding and the finish is applied.
When it was delivered to the construction class, it was all long, raw chunks of wood that hadn’t been processed and seemed more ready for a bonfire than a conference table in a business setting. But after three classes of students in Jason Aldridge’s intro to construction class, the thought of anyone using that wood for a fire is awful.
ACRES Land Trust in Fort Wayne connected with the construction program at Ivy Tech Northeast to see about students making four tables for the company. It provided the wood, solid walnut, and for the last three semesters, Aldridge has made the table creation into a class project. With his guidance, students took those hunks of wood and turned them into long, beautiful tables that would fit right in to a professional office setting.
Construction classes have worked on other community projects, Aldridge said, like picnic areas and covered buildings in parks. Those kinds of projects are what give the intro to construction classes such hands-on, real-world experience–and it’s a win-win for both parties; aside from supplying the wood, ACRES got their four handmade conference tables free of charge.
After three semesters of work, Aldridge will put the finish on the final table next week, and this summer, ACRES’ tables will be complete.