DV teens learn building trades Exposed to different aspects of field

By Jessica Cohen for the Times Herald Record

MILFORD, Pa. – A transition from playing video games to laying brick and pouring concrete can be challenging for students in their first year in building trades classes, said Will Tidridge, a Delaware Valley High School building trades teacher.

“But they mature quickly,” he said. “They retain what they learned in basic building the first year, so when we tell them to build a dugout the second year, they ask the right questions.”

First-year students learn about safety and tools, Tidridge said. They do small projects like tool boxes. Then they mix concrete and lay foundation corners.

“It must be level and plumb,” Tidridge said. “They use precision instruments. Sometimes they have to take a block off several times. If the cement has dried, they use a hammer and chisel to dismantle it.”

They go on to building a model house, complete with framing, roofing, siding, windows and a deck with steps. In their second and third years, students have built dugouts for sports fields, sheds, outbuildings and stage sets. They make furniture requested by staff, and they do personal projects, such as beds, dressers, tables and shelves. Recently they painted and replaced ceiling tile in the boys’ locker room.

“Anything to keep them interested,” Tidridge said. “It steers them to different aspects of the field.”

On a recent afternoon, as second- and third-year building trade students worked on various projects for classrooms – shelves, a rolling cart for Family and Consumer Sciences, a sawhorse – a few described their plans.

“I’ll jump right into the construction trade,” said Sander Woodruff, a junior. “I don’t think I’ll go to college. I’ll go to trade school for two years in carpentry and masonry or get an apprenticeship.”

Shane Rinaldi, a senior, said, “I’ll definitely do something with construction. It’s interesting and ever-changing.”

At home, Rinaldi has made a bed, nightstand and cabinets. He started doing woodwork in class three years ago and discovered he liked it. But after graduating from DVHS, he plans to join the Marine Corps.

Michael Peterson, a senior, plans to go to a 15-week trade school and learn about heating, ventilation, and air conditioning or electrical work. In the summer, he has done HVAC work for a company owned by a family friend.

Ed Nikles, owner of Ed Nikles Custom Builder Inc., in Milford, says his contractors have hired students from the DVHS career tech program.

“Now my carpentry crew is looking for a helper,” he said. “It’s hard to find someone with skills like swinging a hammer and using power tools.”

For more information: Click Here

(Photo By JESSICA COHEN/FOR THE TIMES HERALD-RECORD) Clockwise from left: A.J. Page, a Delaware Valley senior, Alex Gallo, a junior, Kyle Sandstrom, senior, and Steve Pellegrino, senior, work on classroom shelves.

104 Bennett Avenue, Suite 1AMilford, Pennsylvania 18337

©2023 Ed Nikles Custom BuilderSite Designed by Niki Jones Agency, Inc.