Williston Hayes has students in the Construction and Commerce class who learn how to build houses.

WILLISTON, ND – Interest and demand for vocational and technical education classes has increased across North Dakota. At Williston High School, a classroom allows students to get their hands on construction work.

Williston High School students in construction and commerce are working on a special project: building a real house instead of homework.

“It’s manual (work) and you work with other people,” said Peyton Summers, a junior.

With their licensed teacher and contractor, Mark Davis, they are tasked with doing everything from installing the backyard to decorating the interior of the home. Then everything is checked and make sure it is in accordance with the code.

“They will be wonderful after your graduation. Then you will feel very successful and proud of yourself,” said Mary Byron, an elder.

The house is just the latest project being built by students in this class. Over the course of 15 years, Davis and his students built houses, shops, and huts and taught them what the construction profession was like.

“It’s easier to be in high school, but it’s good to know that these guys are going into it (the field),” Davis said.

The students said it would give them a way forward when they graduate from high school.

“I intend to go to college later. I think it’s a great opportunity and I’m glad high school allows us to take that opportunity,” Byron said.

Davis says when the project is completed next year, it will be inspected and then relocated to the east of the city for the homeowner. For students, seeing what is done with their hands creates a sense of pride, and they say it is a greater achievement than A +.

The class also looks at students in other professions, such as plumbing, carpentry and electrical work.

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