By Bob Groeneveld/Langley Advance Times
Where does the water that comes out of your taps come from? How does it get into your house?
And just what is “construction work”?
Construction workers who build homes tried to answer those questions for a group of kids who dropped in on a Langley development in progress.
Kindergarteners from Irvine Elementary School in Port Coquitlam were led on a tour through a Caliber Projects work site in Willoughby, by Caliber owner Justin Bontkes and project manager Ian Baird.
Safety instructions were a large part of the tour, emphasizing not just the kids’ safety, but the importance of safe procedures on today’s job sites.
The kids were wowed by the size of some of the equipment, and got to see every stage of home-building, from clearing ground, to digging and pouring foundations, to framing and finishing at the 51-unit Wilder Crossing condo project in the 6800 block of 201st St.
At the start of the tour they could see pipes sticking out of the ground where water would come in to feed taps and toilets, and by the end they were able to watch a crane lift roofing to waiting workers high above them.
One goal of the tour, explained Caliber’s Jerry Pol, who helped lead the youngsters through the worksite, was “to plant seeds in those young minds that construction, just like firefighting or policing, or doctoring, is a worthy and commendable career to dream of.”
Such tours can be seen as an “inconvenience” to some companies, because they can slow progress on the worksite, said Pol.
But he added, “Because the baby boomers are retiring, there is a knowledge gap, and not enough young people going into construction. We need young people, at all ages, to begin considering the many various vocations that exist in construction, and to see that they are attractive, fulfilling, and interesting.”