Between lawn mowers, four wheelers, snow mobiles, gardening equipment, and more, many Minnesotans often have a storage shed so they can actually use their garage. Some build it themselves, some buy them. Some, like residents in Watertown and Mayer, get the opportunity to have their students build them one as a project in class.
“My Building Design and Construction class builds these sheds,” said Tim Jaszczak, Industrial Technology Teacher for Watertown-Mayer. “I needed a project for them to work on so I took to Facebook.”
The class builds a few of these sheds every year, each with varying sizes. This year the students are building four sheds, from as small as a four-by-four to as large as an eight-by-twelve. The people that requested the sheds buy the supplies for the students to use, and one the shed is put together it’s delivered.
“They give them some real-world framing experience, shingling and all the other stuff that goes along with it,” said Jaszczak.
Since the class is only a semester, the students have about a week and a half to two weeks per shed. With 11 students working together they of course get a bit of an advantage since a team can work faster than a single student.
As for the students, Jaszczak stated that the appeal for the students is the building itself, usually.
“Anytime you can see the thing you’re making, it’s good for the kids,” he said. “They can look back and say they built something, as compared to a paper or a test.”
Jaszczak has had this class since he started as a teacher for Watertown-Mayer five years ago, but he said the class has been around longer. In fact, one of the sheds outside the Watertown Fire Department was built by one of these Design classes, so it’s no surprise around Watertown and Mayer to see a class’s shed around.
The class isn’t for beginners, though, and is usually made up for juniors and seniors who have already taken a few shop classes and have experience with the tools. However, even with experience in shop, it doesn’t take away from the fun and community aspect of this class. The students do all the woodwork and putting the shed together. They don’t do the weathering and staining portion, though, leaving that up to the discretion of the shed owners.
While the four sheds have been ordered for this year are the only sheds being made, that doesn’t mean you have completely missed out. There are several classes through Watertown-Mayer that does this kind of project, even things like landscaping and stonework for some of the classes. Keep an eye on Watertown-Mayer’s Facebook page throughout the year to see what classes are offering to build anything from a shed to a patio depending on the class. Remember that the material costs are up to the person making the request, but they will be giving students some very hands-on experience.