KidSport Playhouse project taking shape in Martensville

Martensville High School students (left to right) Tyler Schewaga-Bell, Hayden Valen, Keenan Marshall, Teegan Cathcart, and teacher Lukas Powell inside a garden shed that is being constructed at the same time as the playhouse.

Martensville High School (MHS) students are building a brighter future for youngsters in their community, one nail at a time.
A group of MHS Grade 12 shop students are constructing a playhouse which will be raffled off next April as a fundraiser for the Martensville and Warman KidSport charity.
KidSport provides funding for families that otherwise could not afford to enroll their kids in organized sports and recreational activities.
This is the third year for the KidSport Playhouse project, which was initiated in 2015 by the owners of the Martensville A&W restaurant and involved several area businesses including Martensville Building and Home Supply and the Clark’s Crossing Gazette. Students at MHS built the first playhouse, and Warman High School completed the project last year.
This year, it’s MHS’s turn once again. The floor of the 100-square foot building is now finished, and the walls and roof are slated to be done this month.
“It’s coming along pretty good right now,” said Lukas Powell, a teaching intern at MHS who is finishing his education degree at the University of Saskatchewan. “The students are very motivated. They want to get this done and they want it to look really good.”
Powell has been working with students from two classes on this project since September. He said it’s being built at the same time as a conventional wooden shed. Having both projects on the go simultaneously helps the students become proficient in basic construction techniques.
“We work on the shed first and get all the kinks worked out,” said Powell. “That way the students get dialed in to the process and when we go to work on the playhouse we’re a well-oiled machine.”
Powell said the shed will be a single storey with a small loft accessible by a ladder. It will be similar to past playhouse projects in that it will be drywalled, shingled, electrified and otherwise completely finished.
But it will also have some differences, he added.
“We’re changing the design a little this year to make it more usable once the kids have grown up and moved away from home,” he said. “The plan is to put double doors on the back so a person can bring in a tool cabinet or bike or quad or something. We’re trying to extend the life of the building. It can be used for storage once its days as a playhouse are over.”
Grade 12 student Tyler Schewaga-Bell said the hands-on experience of building the playhouse reinforces the importance of careful measurements and good workmanship.
“I’ve learned a lot about structural integrity and design,” he said. “There’s a lot that goes into making something strong that also looks really nice.”
His classmate, Teegan Cathcart, said the shed is being constructed to building code standards.
“The goal is to make it last,” he said. “This is a lot better than just making ornaments out of wood for your parents. This is something big that’s going to last. It’ll be cool to have kids playing in this next summer.”
Hayden Valen said it feels good to be contributing back to the community through the KidSport project. “It’s a learning opportunity for us, and it helps make some money for a good cause,” he said.
The KidSport playhouse will be put on display when it’s finished in the spring.