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Brantley’s builders in the making

Senior+Antonio+Marquez+sands+wood+in+order+to+construct+his+assignment+during+his+Building+Trades+and+Construction+Design+Technology+class+on+February.+7.+Students+build+a+variety+of+items%2C+from+toolboxes+and+stools+to+fuse+ball+tables.+
Senior Antonio Marquez sands wood in order to construct his assignment during his Building Trades and Construction Design Technology class on February. 7. Students build a variety of items, from toolboxes and stools to fuse ball tables.

Senior Antonio Marquez sands wood in order to construct his assignment during his Building Trades and Construction Design Technology class on February. 7. Students build a variety of items, from toolboxes and stools to fuse ball tables.

Senior Antonio Marquez sands wood in order to construct his assignment during his Building Trades and Construction Design Technology class on February. 7. Students build a variety of items, from toolboxes and stools to fuse ball tables.

Anisa Velazquez, Staff Reporter

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Underneath the Darwin Boothe Stadium, students can find Robert Flanders’ “Building Trades and Construction Design Technology” class. Flanders, a previous construction worker, teaches his students how to safely and comfortably design and construct their own projects such as stools, makeup boxes, and more. Students also learn life skills like plumbing and electrical work. With three productive workshops, a variety of materials, and many advanced students ready to apply their knowledge, Flanders’ classrooms are filled to the brim with projects waiting to be built.

“All projects are self initiated,” senior Jason Jucker said. “You first need to develop a plan or blueprints for your project, then gather the materials you need, cut them to length and nail or screw the materials together. Then, finish with a paint or protective coating.”

Working with materials like nails, wood, and electric saws can be extremely dangerous, but Flanders has many rules to keep his students safe. For example, they must wear safety goggles at all times and make sure to keep a safe distance from others using machines that have kickback. Flanders and his students also recognize that respect goes both ways, which is key to a safe environment.

“Safety glasses are a priority and no one goes into the shop without them on,” freshman Larissa De Lima said. “Using the equipment is usually pretty straight forward and you just have to follow the rules. Making sure you have a firm grip on your wood and that you keep your fingers a safe distance away from the blade are the basics.”

In addition to several construction companies that donate materials, and tools purchased by Seminole County, funding for materials and equipment comes from payment that the school receives when students become certified after completing the curriculum called Home Builders Institute (HBI). These certificates can help students have a promising career in the future or even get a job in the summertime. 

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“With HBI, they get a certificate which lets construction companies know that the student knows how to use basic hand tools and use proper protection equipment like face masks and gloves,” Flanders said. “It basically gives them a foot in the door. We also have the Academy of Construction Technologies, where students can work in the summertime. They work with contractors, and usually start with $12 an hour and can make up to about $16.”

The class is useful for anyone who is not sure what they are planning on doing after high school, who wants to make more money on the side, or who would appreciate the money saved by doing handiwork for themselves. Students should be prepared to be passionate about their projects, comfortable with a variety of tools and materials, and ready for “Building Trades and Construction Design Technology” to open several new career doors.

“I have to let anyone joining the class know that their projects are only measured by the scale of their imagination,” De Lima said. “They are able to create anything they can think of. If any one person limits themselves to what they think is realistic than that’s all they will be able to accomplish. Thinking outside of the box and using your imagination is what great builders do. With the right materials, tools and mindset anything is possible.”

I have to let anyone joining the class know that their projects are only measured by the scale of their imagination.”

— Larissa De Lima

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About the Writer
Anisa Velazquez, Reporter
Anisa Velazquez is a first year Brantley Banner staff member for the 2017-2018 school year. She is a sophomore who participates in Track and Field as a sprinter, volunteering at Forest City Elementary and babysitting. During her free time, she enjoys kayaking, swimming, going to concerts, and sharing a laugh with her friends and family....
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