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      Shop class volunteers skills to arts center

      Students from Calumet High Schoolâ??s shop class have learned to put their lessons to use in the real world.

      The stage at the Calumet Arts Center was reconstructed with the volunteer efforts of teenagers.

      â??It was dark colored,â?? said student Marcus Tanskanen. â??Underneath, it wasnâ??t the prettiest thing ever, but we made it a lot better.â??

      The near-$7,000 project, paid for by the Calumet Arts Center, took a few weeks of planning and designing, but the bulk of the build was completed in just one weekend.

      One of the very first shows on the new stage was also performed by students from the high school.

      â??We would have been really cramped on the small stage that was there, so to have that additional space was huge for us,â?? explained Calumet High School drama advisor, Dave Heinz. â??We were able to build a backstage area so the kids actually had an area to go to.â??

      The original stage was carpeted and didnâ??t extend out very far. An additional six feet were constructed, and the wood floor actually improves the acoustics. The only thing left to complete is a few coats of paint.

      â??Itâ??s a really neat thing for them to be able to give back to their community and something that theyâ??re also learning how to do--a trade,â?? Heinz added. â??Theyâ??re also learning how to do something like that.â??

      The students say they had help and direction from their shop teacher but were happy to use what theyâ??ve been learning in class to give back.

      â??I feel great about it; just helping out the whole community and making a difference in the play and everything that goes on there,â?? Tanskanen said.