Building Trades saves Christmas


La Porte has many traditions that get locals excited for winter every year. One of these traditions is the beloved Santa’s Chalet that kids visit during the holidays. Overtime, Santa’s House has been worn down and in need of fixing; however, this year, LPHS Building Trades has taken on the task of fixing it up.

For almost 60 years, Santa’s Chalet has offered an exciting way to make memories for children and families. It allows children to write letters to the North Pole, meet Santa Claus, and get scrumptious candy canes.

People of La Porte began raising donations about a year ago. They raised enough money to bring in Mr. Lawson’s Building Trades class to fix up the iconic La Porte attraction.

Lawson’s main goal for this project was to have his students feel proud. 

“I didn’t think when we started that they knew the importance of this little Santa Claus house. Once they got going on it, and they heard more about it, they figured out that this is a really big deal. I think this represents LaPorte rebuilding and all of its construction projects,” Lawson said.

Santa’s House has remained a prominent part of LaPorte’s holidays, and thanks to Lawson and his students, it will look just as joyous as the memories it gives.

Building Trades is a class taken by students who are interested in or have a passion for construction. 

“The main thing that they need to have is passion to learn how to build. Anything you do in life, you have to have a passion for to be successful. They have to have that passion to want to learn and then take it to the level of putting it to practical use,” Lawson said.

In the past, Building Trades have taken on projects such as a Habitat for Humanity house, pavilions in parks, and remodeling houses. Most years, students build a house; however, Lawson decided to focus on community projects this year.

Building Trades is not just a class that builds houses, it also builds bonds and strong relationships. Students who take this class often stay close to Lawson after graduating. 

“The saddest part about Building Trades is when they graduate it’s hard for me to be with these kids 180 days, three hours a day, and then all of a sudden you’ve got to cut them loose; they’ve got to be on their own. To me it’s the saddest day when they graduate. It feels like you’re kicking them out of the house and now they’re on their own,” Lawson said. 

Taking this class gives students experience in construction. Often times, building trades students will get construction jobs right after high school. Students interested in taking this class should talk to Lawson about whether or not it’s the right choice for them.

As for now though, La Porte can enjoy the holiday season by taking their family to Santa’s Chalet to make everlasting memories.

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