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Upper Mich. students aid in building’s design

By Kurt Hauglie
The Daily Mining Gazette (Houghton)

Calumet, Mich. (AP) — Students in Mark Bonenfant’s computer-aided design class at Calumet High School have done drawings for some structures on the school grounds in the past, but their current project is a little different.

Bonenfant’s students, who are juniors and seniors, are designing a storage building for the Copper Island Ski Club to house the groomer for the trails at the Swedetown Recreation Area. The 1,000-square-foot structure will be built on a hill behind the trail chalet.

Although the storage building basically will be a box, Bonenfant said the students also were designing the foundation, electrical and mechanical layouts.

“There’s a lot more than meets the eye,” he said. “They’re putting everything in.”

Although he usually approves or rejects the students’ work, Bonenfant said another partner in the groomer storage project was U.P. Engineers & Architects in Houghton.

“What we’re doing is giving (the drawings) to an engineer for approval,” he said.

Karin Cooper of U.P. Engineers & Architects is one of those engineers, and she said members of the CISC asked the company to get involved by getting permits, and approving the drawings, making certain they were done professionally and were code compliant.

Cooper said when she looked at the drawings the students made, she looked for ways to improve efficiencies.

For instance, she made a suggestion about an 11-foot high door originally drawn for the 14-foot-high building.

“We know a 12-foot door would be the same cost,” she said.

As the individual drawings are completed, Cooper said they were emailed to her and she “red lines” them to make corrections and suggestions. She then makes a hard copy of the drawings and takes them to the school to discuss them with the students.

Besides approving the drawings, Cooper said U.P. Engineers & Architects, which has an office in Marinette, Wis., would have its logo and name on them, but the students would be represented, also.

“They’re going to have their own title block on the drawing,” she said.

Darryl Pierce, superintendent for the Public Schools of Calumet, Laurium & Keweenaw, said the collaboration was good for all those involved.

“In order to get things accomplished in these rough economic times, increased collaboration between businesses, community organizations and schools is essential,” he said. “This project is a good example of a community pulling together for the common good.”

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