Samuel Smith built a dog house as his final project for School District No. 42’s Connex program. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

Log house dog house built for one in Maple Ridge

Grade 12 student Samuel Smith built the dog house as a final project for the SD42 Connex program

Samuel Smith will be graduating high school June 12 after building a dog house in the form of a log house for his final project for the SD42 Connex program.

Smith started building the dog house on March 10.

His shop teacher Mike Schell brought up the idea of building a dog house and Smith went along with it.

“Other than this I’ve only made a cutting board at school,” said Smith.

The wood was donated from Gallant Enterprises from the UBC Research Forest and is a mix of cedar, yellow cedar and fir. They also donated the tin for the roof.

Smith built the house using only hand tools including a saw, chisel and hammer.

The hardest part of the project was making all the logs line up, he said.

Smith will be finishing the floor of the house before disassembling the whole thing and reassembling it on the outside of the school.

Then a crane truck from Treadco will deliver the house to its final destination.

He is donating it back to the owner of Gallant, Clayton Arnott, who has a German sheppard/golden retriever mix.

“It’s going to be a big house for one dog,” said Schell.

The Connex Program is a transitional part-time program for students 12-to-19-years-old, who have been out of school or are at risk of being out of school due to behaviours that make it difficult for them to function in a regular setting. Programs are individualized and administered in an informal environment.

“We are trying to find creative ways to engage students,” said Melanie Harris, alternate teacher with the district.

What makes their school unique, said Harris, is that they do not focus on one subject area, instead the students do a lot cross-curriculum learning, like learning about the eco-system by breeding tree frogs or learning how to make and tie flies before going on a fly fishing outing.

“It’s all just based on what students want to do and the interests they express,” said Harris.

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