Hampton students complete project for Roan Mountain Convenience Center this morning

John Thompson • Updated Oct 23, 2019 at 10:11 AM

HAMPTON — While most students in high school drawing and architecture classes work only with imaginary problems taken from textbooks and other coursework, the students from Hampton High School have been working on a real word project ford the past year.

Today the final piece of the project will be placed, completing the work on a new convenience station in Roan Mountain that will be part of the Carter County Landfill. The final piece is a 16-foot-by-10-foot office that the students not only designed, they built it. The teacher of the Hampton High School course in architecture, Daniel Arnett, said it took the students about a week to complete the building.

Arnett said the students involved in the project were Dylan Moffitt, Dalton Whitehead, Macon Barden, Joe Markland, Nick Hyder, Marcus Crowe, Danielle Dunn, Laken Lyons, Peyton Phillips, Morgan Lyons, Dakota Reece, Sam Phillips, Shelby Mahoney, Harley Greenwell, Preston Watson and Dillan Bowers.

“They started working on it when its was so hot (in early September) when we had several 90-degree days in a row,” Arnett said.

The teacher proudly said the students did all the skill work, including carpentry, plumbing and electrical work. He said some experienced craftsmen showed them how it was done and the students learned and finished the work. Arnett said his own father, who had been a plumber for 47 years, showed them the plumbing part of the craft.

The small office is enough for the one person who mans the recycling center when it is open. The old office did not have a bathroom inside, so this will be an added convenience for the employee.

The employee used to have to use a portapotty that was on the other side of the lot, so this will be much better for him.

While the students learned some practical skills in building the office, they also learned some higher-level skills.

Landfill Manager Benny Lyons enlisted the aid of the class in designing the new recycling center when it was time to replace the old facility.

“Benny asked me if it was possible that the students could design a new center,” Arnett said.

Arnett got a team of able volunteers together that included Macon Barden, James Ellison, Joe Huskins, Everett Lydick, Zack Oliver, Neyland Sluder, Bryan Spock, and Quentin Tomlin. They were all willing to help.

Arnett said they designed the facility in September 2018 and it was also hot then.

“You know how hot September can be,” Arnett said. They got to Roan Mountain and looked at the layout of the facility. Then they got out the tape measures.

“They got into the muck and the mire and measured the entire place,” Arnett said. “Then they measured all the angles. It was a hot and dirty job, but they handled it like professionals.”

After they had cleaned up, the eight students were back in the classroom, drawing up the dimensions and looking at the best way to accommodate traffic flow from the community and other important concerns.

Soon they had drawn up their plans and Arnett presented them to Lyons for his submission of a grant proposal.

The state did not appear to have a problem with the plans drawn by amateurs.

“Benny told me that the people in Nashville were surprised when he told them that the plans had been drawn by high school students.” The county landfill was awarded the grant, which enabled the complete rebuilding of the facility, with better traffic flow.