Building a path to success: High school house students break ground, pour cement, begin foundation on new house


Senior Cameron DeCelles carries concrete forms to set around the foundations of the house. Photo by Jake Settera.

Lindsey Buck

After 14 years of hard, extensive labor, the ring of a phone brought former high school house teacher Tom Maurer right back into action.

“The first morning was like a nightmare. I couldn’t believe what had happened to Bruce,” Maurer said.

On Sunday, Sept. 18, Bruce Barta, CMR’s high school house instructor was involved in a four wheeling accident.

Barta is currently being taken care of in the east wing of Benefis Hospital.

Maurer said that one of his most important goals is to build the house the way that Barta would want. This year’s house is located at 1508 5th Ave NW.

“I am subbing for him. I’m going to do it his way,” Maurer said.

Maurer said that he does not regret agreeing to come back at all, but is also very hopeful for Barta’s return to good health.

“I hope Bruce gets healthy and comes back quickly. We do not want any more serious accidents,” Maurer said.

Despite Barta’s tragic accident, Maurer and many of his students remain hopeful for the school year.

Senior Walter Spicer has big plans for his first year in high school house.

“This is my first year in high school house, and I am really enjoying it. My friend Cameron said he really liked doing it last year, so I thought I would give it a shot,” Spicer said.

Spicer said he hopes to gain as much as possible from the class.

“My main goal is to really learn as much about construction as possible and to get the house done on time,” Spicer said.

With the house foundation already laid, and concrete already poured, much hard work and dedication is required from students.

“I think the most challenging part has been laying footings. There’s a lot of work to be done with leveling,” Spicer said.

Even through all of the hard work, Spicer says that he knows he will have a great year.

“I wouldn’t mind building my own house later in life,” Spicer said.

Junior Austin Geiser is also new to high school house this year. He said that his inspiration to join the class was to prepare for his career.

“I enjoy construction so it just seemed like a good class. I want to pass and build a good house,” Geiser said.

According to Geiser, one of the hardest parts of building the house has been pouring footings.

However, he says that getting the house done is extremely important to him and his future.

“I want to be in construction so anything I can take from this class will help.”