College of the Rockies Timber Frame and Carpentry students have been involved in a number of community-based projects over the past several months in conjunction with the Cranbrook Community Forest Society (CCFS), the City of Cranbrook and Operation Street Angel.
Carpentry students worked with the CCFS to construct a beautiful entrance structure at the start of the new Gateway Trail in the Forest, adjacent to the College’s Cranbrook main campus. While this access point was already utilized by a number of community groups as a meeting place for group runs and mountain bike rides, the CCFS wanted to further develop the entrance, making it easier to direct visitors as well as local residents, to a new, low-gradient entry point to the Community Forest.
“We believe this project will be a fantastic addition to the community to make it easier for visitors and community members to find and discover our gem, the Cranbrook Community Forest,” says CCFS Board member, Chris Bullock. “The opportunity to collaborate with the College’s Carpentry program presented a great learning opportunity for the students while creating a welcoming focal point for new visitors and groups meeting to enjoy the forest.”
Additional key contributors to the Gateway project were the Columbia Basin Trust, the Regional District of East Kootenay, BC Hydro, Wildhorse Cycle Club, Bigfoot Running Club and the Kootenay Orienteering Club.
Commissioned by the City of Cranbrook, the College’s Timber Frame students also constructed a timber frame pavilion that was installed earlier this month at Idlewild Park by College Carpentry students. The pavilion is the first step in the City’s Idlewild Park Master Plan’s enhanced family area.
Operation Street Angel approached the College early in 2017 with a request to build a gazebo-style building to replace a fabric storage tent that had collapsed over the winter. With a fantastic set of drawings donated from a designer from Nelson, the College’s Carpentry program was able to construct the beautiful gazebo at the Street Angel location by the skate park.
“The project proved to be an excellent learning opportunity for our students,” says Carpentry instructor Mark Knudsgaard. “There were many elements to the project that reflected foundation carpentry learning outcomes. The structure is a great addition to a business that is performing an invaluable service to the community and we’re happy to have had the opportunity to be involved.”
College Dean of Trades and Technology, Jack Moes, adds, “It is our great pleasure to be able to take part in partnerships that benefit both our students and our College communities. The hands-on learning opportunities these projects provided to both our Timber Frame and foundation Carpentry students is invaluable and we hope these structures will be enjoyed for many years.”