WAVERLY – Waverly High School’s building construction class allows for students to gain real life experience in the field.
“It gives these kids hands-on experience in this career that we couldn’t teach them in a textbook,” building construction teacher Reed Manstedt said.
Manstedt, also the football head coach and former industrial tech teacher at Waverly Middle School, established the class in fall 2020 where he and his students built a shed near the tennis courts at the high school. About a month ago, the class started construction on a 20 foot by 24 foot garage on the east side of the high school near 134th Street intended for athletic storage.
Before coming to District 145 two years ago, Manstedt taught a similar class at Crete High School where he was a teacher for eight years. When he started in Waverly, instituting a construction program was on his list.
“I don’t feel like I’m working when I’m doing this,” Manstedt said. “This is what I wanted to make a career out of.”
Manstedt has 12 students in his class including three or four who are interested in pursuing careers in construction. One of those students, senior Hunter Hanke, plans to study construction management at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, S.D. Hanke joined the class because he thought it would be great practice for his future and knows it’s beneficial for the school.
“I know that I’m helping out the school,” Hanke said.
Manstedt said that because of the severe weather Nebraska dealt with at the beginning of 2021 the start date was delayed, but the building will be completed by the end of the school year.
He said the most difficult part of the class is that most students haven’t done anything like this before so they don’t always understand why doing certain things ahead of time can be beneficial in the end.
“I would say the biggest thing is just learning the why behind what we’re doing,” Manstedt said.
In spring 2021, the class will build a garage by the middle school practice field which will be the final garage for the district. Manstedt said he is always looking for potential, future projects the class can work on. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When Manstedt’s students come back after graduating, they’ll be able to see the legacy they left behind when they were in high school.
“God willing this will be here for the next 30, 40, 50, 60 years,” Manstedt said.