The annual general meeting of the Southwest Horizon School Division also served as an excellent opportunity to host an open house of the new woodworking shop at Deloraine School. There was a good crowd on hand to tour the new shop on Thursday, February 13. Instructor Brian Harness facilitated the tour, describing the equipment on hand and the items still to come. “I am so excited about this and the students are over-the-top pumped to start in the shop. I’ve worked at a lot of school shops and they have the Cadillac of shops right here,” he said.
Harness went on to say the first term project will be intarsia as he thought that was a good place to start. Instarsia uses multiple size/shape pieces of all types of wood which are brought together to form a design. “With intarsia the students will need to use all the processes — preparation, repair, sanding, scroll saw and design. Some of the ideas they have come up with are a tiger’s head and a lion’s head. This project will give them a good foundation.”
The shop is equipped with excellent venting, dust and debris collecting, which will help anyone with might have breathing problems such as asthma. It will also help to keep the floor relatively clean. Equipment includes a large-sized belt sander, scroll saw, mitre saw, downdraft table, drum sander and a planer to name a few. “My main mandate is safety and if the students leave here having learned only that – it will have been time well spent,” said Harness. As well, he said if the students are wary of the machines and don’t want to use them, that’s fine too — they can still take the program.
The question was asked – what about summer programs/evenings for other students/adults in the community that might be interested? Harness said he hoped that could become a possibility and that it would be a good method of cost recovery for the community. “It is close to being a high school accredited program in the division. I am a strong tradesperson and would totally back that —students with Level 1 from high school would be more attractive to employers and it could keep students in the community.”
Southwest Horizon students in Grades 7-12 have access to the program. For this term there are senior students from Pierson, Melita and Deloraine taking classes as well as middle years students from Deloraine. This will vary term to term.