Twelve Killeen ISD Career Center students, from welding, auto collision and construction programs worked together to fabricate a deer skinning rack, which they installed recently at Parrie Haynes Ranch for use in youth hunts. Students also cut fresh signs for the property.

From design to installation, a group of 12 Killeen ISD Career Center students from three separate programs completed a project to help a local youth organization.

Six seniors in the school’s welding program designed and pieced together a deer skinning rack for Parrie Haynes Ranch south of Killeen for its youth hunts.

In addition, three automotive collision students and three construction students carved wood signs and the metal sign atop the rack.

Roy Hudson, director of operations for Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Texas at the property 12 miles outside of Killeen, said the rack will prove a big help for youth who hunt on the hilly acreage.

Welding instructor John Bridenstine and construction instructor Duane Sitton met with Hudson months ago to consider designs for the rack.

The students and their three teachers joined Hudson Wednesday afternoon to install the rack.

Welding seniors Steven Owens and Jerome Gray said they learned a variety of welding techniques and letter cutting. Their favorite part, though, was seeing their work come to fruition.

“I think it turned out good,” Owens said.

“It’s amazing to see it on the foundation,” Gray said. “It’s the perfect height for kids to use.”

Another senior welding student, Riley Bridenstine, agreed with his peers that taking the elements of welding into the field is rewarding.

“This isn’t just our regular (curriculum),” the student said. “We get to experience the real-life workforce. It’s a good learning experience for us.”

Recognizing the four-station rack, designed for skinning out a deer, would be too large to transport, Bridenstine the instructor said they realized they needed to build it in parts.

“We had to make it something to break down,” he said. “We have a top section and legs and we labeled it to put it together and we had to keep in mind it was for kids to use.”

The project drew in other programs and also exposed students to the reward of seeing their work in the field and helping to put it in place.

“These students can step back and look at it all together for the first time,” Bridenstine as they stepped back to admire the structure. “It’s a capstone.”

Parrie Haynes Ranch hosts a variety of day camps and summer sessions for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Texas and a series of hunts for youth from Gatesville, Killeen, Copperas Cove and Lampasas.

Todd Martin is an employee of the KISD communications department and writes about students, teachers and school events.

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