NLC students? work on airport terminal almost completed

CHETWYND ? Residential Construction students from Northern Lights College have gained some real workforce experience during their time building the new terminal at the Chetwynd Airport.

The class of 11 students has been working on completing the interior and exterior of the structure, and instructor Mark Heartt anticipates their work will be done in February.

?We haven?t had any major problems. The weather?s been good, although some days the wind has been tough,? Heartt said. ?On those days, we weren?t able to get much tin on the roof. You have to be careful, because tin is not like shingles, it?s razor sharp.?

In addition to completing the roofing, the students recently have been working on installing an interior vapour barrier in preparation for starting the interior walls. And they are installing a fire-rated roof, which necessitates the roof being drywalled before the interior is framed to allow a full firebreak across the building.

Along with the work being completed by the Residential Construction students, the College?s Plumbing students have also been busy on the jobsite. They completed the groundwork and installation for the plumbing of the building.

?Once the ceiling?s in, the interior walls will be framed, the partitions will be up and when we have the roof on, our job will be done here,? Heartt said.

While the project is pretty much on schedule, Heartt said the students have learned how to adapt to change on the job site.

For example, they spent about a week manually removing and then replacing approximately a truckload of gravel in order to add insulation to the building?s main concrete slab.

?Then we had to put in the heat pipes. The guys got a chance to put the pipes in and pressure test them,? Heartt said, pointing out the students also got to experience five days of materials? delays while working on this part of the project.

And the students also learned some of the hazards of cold-weather construction. In order to save energy, the walls were insulated. But because a vapour barrier was not installed at that time, the walls became frosted. That meant the students had to remove all the insulation, dry out the walls, and then re-insulate prior to installing the vapour barrier.

?But I think it?s coming along really well. I had two students who did the front entrance all by themselves. That just amazed me. They had a few questions they had to ask, but they did an outstanding job, and that?s not easy,? Heartt said.

The airport terminal project is a joint venture between NLC?s Trades and Apprenticeship Division and the District of Chetwynd. Students have been working onsite since September.

For more information on trades and apprenticeship opportunities, contact NLC at 250-782-5251 or 1-866-463-6652.