By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE
Little hands will soon be able to play chef on the playground at Our Little Haven, thanks to Geometry in Construction students at Lafayette High School.
This Saturday, May 8th at 10am, an all-weather toy kitchen will be assembled onsite at 4316 Lindell Boulevard, the headquarters of Our Little Haven. The nonprofit organization – founded in 1993 – provides a safe, secure and healing environment for those impacted by abuse, neglect and mental or behavioral health needs. At 11am Saturday, Our Little Haven’s staff and board members will cut the ribbon and dedicate the outdoor play kitchen.
“Not only did the Rockwood students design and build exactly what our staff was hoping for, they included their own creativity in building this resource that will be a staple on our campus,” said Chris Munoz, the organization’s development director. “Rockwood School District’s industrial arts instructor approached our organization a few years ago and asked if we had any needs that the district’s Geometry in Construction class might fulfill. We identified the kitchen. We had a well-worn one that wasn’t made to tolerate extended outdoor use. This kitchen is a wonderful addition to our playground and our kids will enjoy it and learn from it for years to come.”
More than 60 Lafayette High School students participate in the Geometry in Construction program, according to Munoz. “The program combines math and construction and is facilitated by a math teacher and technology teacher,” he said. “It allows students to apply real-world geometry, carpentry and design into sustainable, useful community projects. This program has provided tiny homes, sheds, benches, shelving units, dog houses and much more for local nonprofits in the St. Louis community.”
Steve Faust, chief storyteller at icon Mechanical, has served as a board member at Our Little Haven for seven years. His earlier work history includes 10 years as a carpenter. Faust says the Geometry in Construction curriculum represents another creative strategy for sparking high school students’ interest in the field of construction and giving them the chance to help a worthy nonprofit organization at the same time.
“Anytime we’re able to expose students to opportunities in the world of construction, it’s a win,” said Faust, whose employer regularly brings students, teachers and counselors through icon Mechanical’s shop to see mechanical contracting and engineering at work close-up.
Munoz said the St. Louis construction partners have been good to Our Little Haven.
“With budgets tight and margins thin, we truly appreciate the support of the construction industry,” he said.
For more information about this Saturday morning’s onsite play equipment assembly and the dedication immediately following, contact Munoz at (314) 669-9386.