Masonry students benefit Concord

Brick by brick, Todd Hartsell and nine of his Masonry II students at Central Cabarrus High School helped to greet individuals to the City of Concord.

At the corner of Warren C. Coleman Boulevard and N.C. 3, Hartsell's class constructed a new "Welcome to Concord" sign.

The students were honored Thursday at the Concord City Council meeting for their efforts.

"I think it's good for town coucil and the community to see the student's work and our trade in masonry," Hartsell said.

Students recognized at the meeting included seniors Josh Johnson and Tim Britton, and juniors Aaron Franssen, Luke Fitzwater, Brent Austin, Justin Hartsell, Alex Ossowski, Dallas McSheehan and Bailey Tucker.

The masonry students were first given the task to construct the sign by Buildings and Grounds Director David Ratchford, Hartsell said.

The seven juniors and two seniors then dedicated May 5-6 to construct their portion of the new sign, said Concord City Manager Brian Hiatt.

While the original sign was wooden and surrounded by vegetation, the new brick sign stands about 5 feet tall, 19 feet long, 32 inches wide, and has 6-foot-high columns, Hartsell said.

"They do really professional work, and they did a good job," said Hartsell of his students.

Hiatt also said he was impressed with the quality of work the students provided to the city.

"Given the responsibilities of the city, we are extremely aware of the continuing need for skilled workers," Hiatt said.

"I am just grateful we have people like Todd Hartsell willing to teach young people and that we have students interested in a skilled trade."

Hartsell said while the economy is currently under pressure, the building of homes helps drive the economy, so the students are learning a valuable trade for their futures.

"Of course, in these days of very tight budgets, having the materials donated by the developer of the property and the labor provided by the class were key to making the project possible," Hiatt said.

Along with projects like the new welcome sign, Hartsell said his masonry classes have also participated in projects with Habitat for Humanity.

The masonry teacher said in the future he would love to continue to do projects with his classes that benefit the community.