Charles Bloom Secondary construction and wood technology students Danielle Major (from left)

Charles Bloom Secondary construction and wood technology students Danielle Major (from left)

Lumby youth lend support to Winter Games

Charles Bloom students build 64 new stanchions for use for upcoming B.C. Games events, including the Winter Games in Greater Vernon

Lumby high school students have left their mark with the B.C. Winter Games.

Students from Grades 9 to 12 in Chris Kuhn’s woodwork and construction classes at Charles Bloom Secondary were given the task of creating new stanchions for the Games.

Stanchions are stands that signs are put on and ropes are strung through for crowd control.

“The old design was quite weak, it was like an old Christmas tree design of crossed legs and four pieces, but if one leg was broken from use, the stanchion was totally useless,” said Kuhn.

B.C. Games officials asked the students to design something that could last a few years and hold up to environments of snow or rain.

Kuhn used a professional development day to come up with some preliminary figures and estimates, then put the students to work.

Thanks to donations of pressure-treated plywood and dimensional lumber from Greenridge Supply (Irly Bird) in the village, the students decided to change up the design.

Games’ officials requested 60 stanchions, so students started calculating the sizes of the product, and the size of pieces that had to be cut up. They would gather their material, make a mock-up of a stanchion then mass produce all of the pieces.

“I had all of the bases cut up and students routed the edges and made a number of jigs,” said Kuhn. “It was set up so everybody could participate. Some would drill pilot holes for where the screws would go, some would do marking and some would drill. Everybody put in about 10 to 15 minutes over a couple of days.”

The B.C. Games had requested their logo be put on the product. Kuhn’s classes used their laser engraver which normally would burn the logo brown.

But because they were using pressure-treated material that was green, the reaction turned the logo black.

“Everybody thought that was the coolest thing,” said Kuhn. “It looks like an ink stamp, so both sides of the base have their logo, which they really like.”

Students completed the project in less than two weeks.

“It took longer for the Games’ officials to pick them up than it took us to make them,” smiled Kuhn. “I didn’t have room to store them. They were even outside for a bit.”

Nolan Schibli and Danielle Major were among two of the 40 or so students that worked on the stanchions.

“We all worked as a team and got the job done,” said Schibli, a Grade 11 student. “We had both classes working on them. I think it’s kind of cool that our work is going to stay with the Games.”

Added Major a Grade 12 student: “I thought it was cool to help out with the project,” adding that her favourite part was staining the stanchions. “Once we had the plan, it was easy.”

The students were given a small gratuity for their work, which ended up saving the Games a fair amount of money.

Kuhn estimates printing the logo alone on the school’s laser engraver saved the Games at least $1,000.

“To have these students craft some needed infrastructure for the Games was one more way we could engage volunteers, access their skill sets, and leave a legacy of achievement for them, while having these stanchions for years to come,” said Kelly Mann, president and CEO of the B.C. Games.

Mann was thrilled with the final product.

“The students grasped the idea right away, and set about using their skills in woodworking to create stanchions which will serve the Games for years to come,” said Mann. “They built a practical, lightweight product which will have many uses in the operations of the B.C. Games.”