New Facility Being Built by Former Brush Students for Current Brush Students
June 11, 2019 – Brush, CO — In small towns across the Eastern Plains of Colorado, schools are more than just places for kids to learn and grow. They’re places where the community comes together to share successes, challenges and foster a sense of belonging to the land and to each other.
When a new high school is built in a place like Brush, Colorado, the whole community takes part in one way or another. And for some of the tradespeople at Encore Electric, that means giving back to the place that built you.
Encore Electric is helping to build a brand new high school/middle school in Brush, population 5,400. The original high school was built in the 1950s, with parts of it being renovated as well, to serve a growing population of students and the community at large. The middle school is currently a few blocks away, but when this building is complete around Christmas Break 2019, all the students will be under one roof.
“We’re doing everything electrical – new service, all the big gear from our big main switchboard, 4,000 amp, down to the smallest receptacle,” said Terry Wynja, Encore Electric superintendent on the project. “Anything power, technology – we’re doing it here.”
The Technology Solutions team is installing the entire technology package at the school, including cabling, wireless access points, CCTV, card access, classroom AV and performance AV in the theater and the gym.
“There are a ton of devices we need to install, and all the fiber and copper going to all these devices is all under us,” said Tom Waltemath, operations manager. “This is a big project for us. It’s the first one we’ve done from soup to nuts so this is kind of a big deal in terms of our capabilities. We’re trying to impress our clients with this one.”
In addition, the 20 Encore Electric team members who are currently working on the job are also doing work on the new 700-seat theatre. The school will have the largest auditorium in town.
Members of the Encore Electric crew also have a unique tie to the building – they’re replacing a building for a school listed on their high school diploma.
“I think it’s cool out here that we have two electricians, Kenny Stegner and Isaac Dehererra, who just graduated from this school, and they’re out here building the new one,” said Joshua Hilsinger, foreman. “It’s funny to watch them reminisce talking about the old rooms and this and that – and now we’re building a new one for them. Kenny and Isaac, they are leaving a legacy.”
“It was super fun to grow up here. There’s not as much to do as in the city – there’s hunting and fishing,” said Kenneth Stegner, a second year apprentice who is working on the project.
After graduating from Brush High School in 2018, he joined Encore Electric to start his career in the electrical trade. He learned about the career from the outreach work done by Encore Electric’s talent acquisition team.
“At the end of my senior year, Encore came to my school and did a presentation to show how good of a career it would turn out to be. I just thought it was a good idea,” Stegner said.
The school places a heavy emphasis on helping students find a good-paying, fast-paced career in the trades and continues that tradition with the new building. “They spent quite a bit of money for rooms for vocational type of classes. They are really active in trying to get students to get into the trades. They promote that pretty heavily here,” said Wynja.
“It’s different. This high school actually has a lot more features than other high schools I’ve seen. They’re building it for the future – the different lighting packages, the systems, theater, this is state of the art stuff that I see they’re getting,” said Hilsinger. “I could see this being something they have for the next 30 years.”
“These are the types of things you traditionally don’t see out in (the eastern plains). These kids are really going to have a great school to go to. Every room has touchscreen monitors, and wireless points,” said Waltemath.
For Stegner’s part, he’s planning on leaving something behind for the kids from Brush and the community.
“I have some pride,” Stegner said. “This is my hometown so I take pride in my work. And maybe someday my kids will go to this school.”