Each afternoon in the fall, a group of eight to 10 seniors at Hastings High School trade in their pencils and textbooks for hammers, nails and screwdrivers.
The students are part of the building trade class at HHS that builds a garage for one lucky property owner in the city each year.
It may be a small, single-car garage or a large, two-car building with a steep roof, windows and several doors.
Either way, instructor Jim Hannon said the biggest challenge is that some of the students are learning as they build.
The students are asked to build an entire garage from the ground up in the fall when there are more days of nice weather, even though some of the skills they need to know they haven’t been taught yet.
“It’s kind of like a pretest,” Hannon said. “The kid will ask what we’re doing and I’ll say, ‘I don’t have time to teach you now. I’ll teach you in the winter.’ ”