Shenandoah Valley students build modular classrooms for Governor’s School

The Shenandoah Valley Governor’s School needs classroom space, and students from Valley Career and Technical Center are making that happen.
Published: Feb. 22, 2022 at 4:25 PM EST
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FISHERSVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Shenandoah Valley Center for Advanced Learning in Fishersville houses two schools: The Shenandoah Valley Governor’s School and Valley Career and Technical Center.

It turns out one needs space, and the other has the skills to make that happen.

Every year, the carpentry students build a home that gets auctioned off. Last year, they build a home for Habitat for Humanity. This year, they’re building modular classrooms that will stay at the Governor’s School.

“We’re trying to be good problem solvers. We’re trying to be resourceful,” Shenandoah Valley Center for Advanced Learning Director Lee Ann Whitesell said.

“The superintendents came to us last summer and asked if the possibility that we could build for ourself,” , Valley Career and Technical Center Carpentry Instructor Brad Bryant said.

With more students enrolled, the Governor’s School needed space yesterday.

“We were using some different spaces, storage rooms, and different things for smaller classes that were no longer really fit for learning,” Whitesell stated.

Then COVID-19 happened.

“That just increased the anxiety of remaining in those spaces,” Whitesell said.

It’s a more affordable option for about $120,000 than brining in a mobile cottage for $150,000.

“We felt like we could do a higher quality nicer environment for a little bit cheaper,” Whitesell stated.

They’re trying to incorporate as many of their trades programs as they can.

“Welding has built a couple different hooks and ladders and things that we needed to roll the house together. We’ve had the machine shop build us some rollers that make it easy to separate and bring the house back together,” Bryant said. “The masonry class did the block foundation. Electrical will do all the wiring and internet, and Computer Technologies will get the fiber optics out. In the end we’ll have our HVAC class do all the heating and air.”

It’s also something the students can be proud of.

“They will be able to physically come back and be like, ‘Oh, that’s our building,’” Bryant said.

“It’s pretty cool that we’re the class that’s doing it,” Nathan Knapp, a Buffalo Gap senior stated.

“We’re very proud of our teachers and our students and I hope that our students are proud of what they can walk by and see, what they’ve accomplished,” Whitesell said.

The classroom is meant to be a temporary solution until the school can find a more permanent one, then they can sell or donate the modular classroom.

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