EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) – What started as wood, screws, cement and plans turned into a symbol of freedom in the shape of a ramp for someone to get in and out of their home.
“It’s different from being in the classroom,” senior Andrew Eckstein said. “It’s a different experience; you get on-the-job training.”
The project was completed in three days by Frank Fisher and five of his students in the East Liverpool High School’s construction technology class. They started it on April 26.
The students earned points for the project but came in on their own time to do it.
“It feels good,” senior Kaleb Bailey said about how it felt to use his skills and craft to help someone out. “We haven’t done anything like that lately.”
“I can go back in a couple years and be like, ‘I built that,'” Eckstein said.
School Superintendent Jonathan Ludwig presented the idea to Fisher after hearing about it from Denise Michael, the mother of the man who needed the ramp. He and five students then ran with it.
“It was fun to do and at the end it looked good,” Bailey said.
Michael’s family provided the supplies and some food. Fisher and the students provided the labor.
“They really helped improve Justin’s life,” Denise Michael said of her son.
Over the past two years, Justin has been battling some spinal issues that have led to two surgeries, one locally and another in Cleveland. Now, he’s undergoing therapy twice a week, and the goal is to be back up on his feet at least in the next year.
“For me, it just gives me more freedom as I try to get back to where I was before the injury,” Justin said.
“Makes life much easier,” Denise said. “If he wants to go somewhere, all I have to do is get him in the wheelchair, down the ramp we go, and in the car.”
Denise said the students were great and that Fisher is doing a great job with them in his first year as the teacher of that class.
“It’s rewarding to see that your work benefits somebody else like that. It was really nice to see,” Fisher said.
Fisher said the second and third days were rewarding for him because everything seemed to click and the students knew what to do.
“One of the things that kind of meant a lot to me was one of the students I had actually sent me an email thanking me for taking him down there, and as a teacher, that means a lot,” Fisher said.