LASALLE, Ill. — The work going on at St. Bede Academy in LaSalle gives students real-world examples of classroom concepts just outside their windows.

On Sept. 20, computer technology students heard from Greg Wiesbrock, director of construction management for Vissering Construction Company, about the detail that goes into estimating.

“The kids were very interested,” Wiesbrock said. “I think they’re intrigued about what’s going on. They asked some good, quick questions.”

That morning, new, visible Legacy Project work included two newly erected masonry walls.

The Legacy Project is a $16 million multi-year renovation and expansion that includes construction of a new 17,000-square-foot science center and commons area, a new field house and interior renovations to the main school building.

The $5 million new science center is expected to be completed by spring 2018.

This week wasn’t the first time construction was part of the lesson plan, said superintendent Ted Struck.

Earlier in the school year, students went outside, and architects spoke to them about creating color boards.

“You have to make decisions on colors and materials that finish the building,” Struck said. “The minutiae of it can be overwhelming.”

But, he said, students learned that designers also have to keep the big picture in mind, or else the end result can look like mismatched patchwork.

There are opportunities for future lessons, too.

Once the closed-loop geothermal system for the new science and commons center is finished near the end of the project, students will have a chance to learn about geothermal energy, Struck said.

Struck said requests to use the Legacy Project as a teaching tool come from educators, who also have a keen interest in the project.

“It’s not just the students, it’s the teachers,” Struck said.

Source: (LaSalle) News-Tribune,

Information from: News-Tribune,

This is an AP-Illinois Exchange story offered by the (LaSalle) News-Tribune.