Lost River and Henley student projects help local businesses

Article by Marcia Schlottman, KCSD Public Relations.

Advanced Agricultural Mechanic and Senior Technician students from Lost River and Henley High Schools have teamed up this year to modernize the main entrance to Basin Fertilizer & Chemical Co. in Merrill.

When the company decided to redesign the entrance, co-owner Amie McAuliffe reached out to Kate Lyman of Farmhouse Designs. Lyman proposed the practical project to the Vocational and Technical Education (CTE) programs at Lost River and Henley High Schools.

Today, Basin Fertilizer & Chemical Co. presents a new powder coated metal panel which has been installed away from the wall of the building, giving it a 3D effect. To the right of the entrance are three large planters with designer metal screens.

“It turned out fantastic,” McAuliffe said last week after installing the last pieces. “Employers need employees with these skills. These students will have experience in welding, fabrication, electrical, and wood and metalworking. These skills are invaluable.

The Basin Fertilizer Project is just one example of how students in the Klamath County School District CTE programs are using lessons in real-world applications.

Meghan Miller, agricultural science teacher and FFA advisor at Lost River Junior / Senior High School, focuses her classes on projects that can benefit the school and the community. The students built corrals, barn stalls, chicken coops, fences and a ticket office for the school. Lost River offers a four-year pathway program that incorporates skills needed in the trades including electrical, plumbing, timber construction, welding and fabrication.

In Henley, projects included the main gate to the Henley complex, a 20ft by 27ft pole vault blanket for the Henley Track, and aluminum letters for the Chiloquin Fire Hall.

For the Basin Fertilizer Entrance Project, four Henley students – Claire Hulbert, Coltin Smith, Coay Streed, and Roy Watterberg – made a new sign using the school’s CNC plasma cutter. Students are enrolled in the school’s CTE master technician program, which prepares them for trades in commerce.

The students said the sign design was difficult because it incorporated several layers of metal using bolts to give the room depth. “We encourage the artistic nature of students to think outside the box,” said Chris Aylett, Henley’s FFA advisor and professor of farm mechanics.

The students at Lost River took charge of the planters and metal screens, which feature an intricate design that matches the commercial sign. Advanced agricultural mechanics students Karli Britton, Curtis Sweat, Logan Derry, Jacob Parks, and Wyatt Lacy teamed up to complete the job.