Lake Land College

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Students build Lake Land College recycling center for class project

Few students can say that their school work will remain forever on display at their institution. However for Lake Land College students in the Building Construction Technology (BCT) program, that is not the case. 

This spring during Intersession, the three week window between spring and summer term where classes are offered at an accelerated pace, nine students in the BCT program had the opportunity to receive hands-on training by building Lake Land College’s new Recycling Center. 

The course, Basic Carpentry I, was taught by Neal Haarman, building construction technology coordinator and instructor, through a partnership between the college and Morton Buildings, Inc. 

According to Haarman, Morton Buildings, Inc. began its partnership with Lake Land College in 2010, when it started a summer internship program with Lake Land students and began working with Haarman to design a class, Post Frame Construction.   

Haarman said that the partnership with Morton Buildings, Inc. has offered him a way to incorporate more hands-on opportunities for his students. 

“This experience is important because it gives the students real-world knowledge and a chance to work on a construction site,” explained Haarman.  “During this class, we had to deal with weather, deadlines and quality control issues, just like any other construction project and the students have built something to be proud of that will be on campus for years to come. The students feel a great sense of accomplishment and for some, this class will lead to summer internships and possible full-time positions with Morton Buildings.”

The class, which was funded in-part by the Community Based Jobs Training Grant from the Department of Labor, focused on safety, the proper use of construction tools, blueprint reading, scheduling, teamwork, and the proper way to construct a post frame building.

Five Morton Building Inc. employees worked on the project: Kevin Potter, director of construction; John Gleason, construction process improvement coordinator; Steve Elliott, area crew supervisor; Tom Longbons, area crew supervisor; and Jerry Malek, area crew supervisor.

“This course would not have been possible without the instruction and guidance of Morton Buildings’ employees,” said Haarman. “Each of them is dedicated to helping the BCT students become more prepared for the workforce and to providing the students with real world experiences. The students are all very grateful for having this opportunity and their expectations were exceeded by this course.”

Students who participated in this course include: Judd Benson, Charleston; Darren Chupp, Arthur; Jake Diel, Montrose; Drew Huddlestun, Greenup; Anthony Martin II, Shumway; Adam Nail, Toledo; William Schlosser, Mattoon; Nathan Slattery, Morris; and Robert Spangler, Mattoon.

The Recycling Center is located near the maintenance building on the southwest side of campus and will be used as the main receptacle for all recyclable materials on campus. 

To learn more about building construction technology at Lake Land College, visit and select the “Academic information” link or contact Haarman at 217-234-5421 or 



Cutline:  Students in Basic Carpentry I, taught by Neal Haarman, had the opportunity to work with Morton Buildings, Inc. during Lake Land College’s Intersession to build the college’s new Recycling Center. At left is Robert Spangler, Mattoon with fellow student Jake Diel, Montrose. Here, the students use a two-man ladder to frame the building. 

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