WORKING TOGETHER: Carpentry students make benches, tables for city

Liz Beavers
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Mineral County Technical Center principal Lorretta Mick and Richard “Steve” Willison stand with Willison’s carpentry class and the tables and benches they built for the City of Keyser. Pictured are: Tristan Fink, Hayden Stimmetz, Evan Jones, Dakota Virts, Jesse Hockaday, Dalton Adams, Anthony Miller, Eathan Hicks, and (seated) Darrick Broadwater.

KEYSER - A need for some updated equipment at Keyser’s playgrounds has translated into an opportunity for students in the carpentry class at the Mineral County Technical Center.

All it took was a conversation between Keyser parks and recreation commissioner Ron Metcalf and carpentry instructor Richard “Steve” Willison, and the wheels were set in motion for the Tech Center’s students to construct two tabletop chair combos, two benches, and four picnic tables to be placed at the city’s parks, including the John R. Shelton Swimming Pool.

Keyser City Council member and parks and recreation commissioner Ron Metcalf (center) presents a donation to the Mineral County Technical Center carpentry class in appreciation of the benches and tables they built for the city’s parks. Accepting the donation are instructor Steve Willison (left) and student Eathan Hicks.

“It took us about a week to complete the project, and I feel the city is getting some high-quality furniture made of solid 2x4s, which should last the city for years,” Willison said.

Metcalf and several city employees picked up the items recently at the Tech Center. He said the two tabletop/chair combos and one picnic table are going to the pool, and a picnic table will go to each of the remaining parks.

The two benches, painted West Virginia blue and gold, will be placed at Brooks Park, which Metcalf plans to upgrade to a Mountaineer theme something this month.

According to Willison, the carpentry class is open to taking on projects from other entities or individuals in the area as well.

“With the price of lumber rising every day, it is very hard to run a program like ours because lumber is our primary building block,” he said. “Hopefully other organizations in the county can see some of the quality furniture we can build for them and show interest, which in turn would provide valuable skills to my students.”

Anyone wishing further information on the furniture can call the Tech Center at 304-788-4240.