A custom-built two-storey playhouse is in the final stages of construction at Warman High School’s industrial arts shop, and is slated to be moved and put on public display early next week.
The playhouse will be raffled off to raise funds for the Martensville and Warman KidSport charities. KidSport provides financial assistance to low-income families to help youngsters participate in organized sports in the community.
This is the second year for the KidSport playhouse fundraising project, a joint effort involving the Martensville A&W, the Martensville and District Lions Cub, Martensville and Warman KidSport, Clark’s Crossing Gazette and Warman High School. The first playhouse was built during the 2015-2016 academic year by students at Martensville High School.
Last fall, Warman High School Industrial Arts teacher Terry Martin committed to having the playhouse completed by early April. While the original plan intended it to be a project for a select group of students, that didn’t work out due to unforeseen factors.
Which meant Martin did almost all the work on his own, with occasional assistance from students during class time for larger jobs like installing the roof rafters. He estimates that over 300 hours of labour went into the project.
“It was a lot of work, but it really was worth it,” said Martin in an interview on Wednesday, March 29 as he was busy putting the finishing touches on the building. “I gave my word it was going to get done, so it had to get done.
“It feels great that it’s almost finished, but what I’m really happy about is all the kids that are going to benefit from this project because of the money that it will raise for KidSport.”
Martensville KidSport Coordinator Angie Reddekopp said the project raised about $10,000 for the charity last year, and she’s hoping this year’s raffle is just as successful.
“The community responded really well,” said Reddekopp. “I think part of the appeal is that all the funds raised locally stay right here in our communities, and go to help kids right here at home. We really didn’t know what to expect last year, since it was the first time we tried something like this, but we were really happy with the result.”
Reddekopp said the project has also increased awareness of KidSport and its mandate. As a result, there are more applications for financial assistance coming in every day.
“There’s a big need in the communities,” said Reddekopp. “Demand is increasing, so we need to raise more money every year.”
The playhouse is wired for electrical lighting and the interior is finished with drywall, flooring and baseboards. The building has 64 square feet of space on the main floor and 98 square feet on the second floor. It also has a four foot by eight foot covered veranda porch at the front.
But the most eye-catching feature is the custom-designed, hand-made door built from scratch by Martin.
“The raised-panel door is my little personal touch,” said Martin. “I started with rough two-by-ten poplar wood, planed it down and cut it to size, and then used the right router bits for it. It’s a three-bit operation, and they all fit into each other and basically make a jigsaw puzzle.”
Donations from local suppliers helped keep the cost of building materials low.
The playhouse is built on skids to allow it to be moved. Early next week it will be taken on a flat deck tow truck to a highly-visible location in Warman. After about it a month on display in that community, it will then be moved again to the parking lot in front of the A&W on Centennial Drive, the city’s main business frontage road.
Tickets for the KidSport playhouse draw will be available for purchase soon.