Lewis and Clark High School students get firsthand look at trade jobs by touring their new facility

SPOKANE, Wash. — From the bare bones of a building to the fully finished product, students at Lewis and Clark High School saw what it takes to be in the construction business.

On Friday afternoon students followed Greg Forsyth, the director of capital projects for the Spokane Public School District, around a construction site. Their school’s construction site to be exact.

He explained what requirements are needed in a building for a school facility along with what the new building will hold and where. It’s the little details that some students don’t think about.

“I just thought it was really cool. All the stuff that’s in the ceiling that you don’t know is there and their fancy windows. I thought it was really interesting,” said student Katie McKenzie.

What they saw on Friday, some of them have only seen on TV shows.

For student Zarah Hope, it’s a whole different reality to see it in person.

“To see it in real life is fascinating and our class is on the third floor. We can see all the construction so it’s really quite entertaining to not only watch it from a distance but now to be in here,” Zarah said.

The high school took advantage of this teaching opportunity that’s right in its backyard. A 2018 bond approved by voters is in the works right now with an addition being built to Lewis and Clark High School.

“We’re just bringing our students forward to show them how their learning and how their education could bring them into anything from construction to design to interior design to engineering,” Forsyth said.

Driving around Spokane, there are many construction projects going on. With many projects means many workers are out and about. However, the construction industry is short on workers. Just last year, 80 percent of construction firms surveyed nationwide said it was difficult to fill those jobs.

Giving the kids an opportunity to see what it’s really like gives them a new perspective and possibly a new job option in the future.

“To see how things are done or made, you respect it more. You know how it’s built, and you just kind of want to do it more, kind of want to be in it more,” Zarah said.

The school will be ready for the students to occupy in August.