ISHPEMING — After being the first school in Michigan to pilot a geometry construction program, Ishpeming High School will be building their success even further.

Students at Ishpeming High School will be learning valuable skills while helping their neighborhood at the same time. A ground breaking ceremony was held Friday at a residence just across the street from the school. The property was given to the school through the Marquette County Land Bank Authority. Beginning next semester IHS industrial arts students will begin renovating the home.

“It’s definitely going to open a lot of opportunities for us after high school,” said 11th Grade Student Jesse Laurin, “and really a head start on the job field if you’re looking to get into any of this kind of work.”

“They’ve taken on a leadership position for the rest of the state,” said Marquette Alger RESA CTE Director Brian Sarvello, “in terms of integrating CTE curriculum with core academic curriculum.”

The students are expected to begin working at the beginning of the next semester, with two years to complete the project.

“A lot of the big work will fall on our advanced construction class,” said Industrial Arts Teacher Nathan McFarren, “the geometry and construction class will have a lot of lab work that we’ll be doing in here.”

But once this project is complete, the concept of building better neighborhoods will continue.

“This isn’t the end of the process,” said Marquette County Land Bank Authority Chair Anne Giroux, “our plan is to sell this to a family and then with those proceeds purchase the next house so that for years to come the kids at Ishpeming High School can constantly have a space to work in and do this kind of work.”

A vision by Vicki Lempinen and Nathan McFarren along with a litany of support from local area businesses are responsible for making this happen.

“At Eagle Mine we’re just really excited to be a part of this project,” said Eagle Mine Social Responsibility Advisor Meagen Morrison, “it’s an opportunity to improve the neighborhoods and gives the students a chance to learn the skills that they need to help build the community.”

The work from the students will follow the same codes and guidelines required to ensure everything is done properly.