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Marble Falls trades students build new homes for K-9 officers

Marble Falls students build doghouses for K-9s

Noah Escandon (left) and Gavin Hernandez, Marble Falls High School Construction and Trade students, work on a project during a recent class. Photo by Emma Boerm

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article was written by Marble Falls High School student correspondent Emma Boerm.

The Marble Falls High School Construction and Trade program recently partnered with police departments in Marble Falls and Granite Shoals to build houses for the units’ K-9 officers. The task was about more than building and trade skills.

“Our students needed to learn about service in the community,” Construction and Trades instructor Leonard Venghaus told “Something as small as a doghouse can have a major impact on how the community works.”

The doghouse project allowed students to gain experience in building while simultaneously helping the community. 

The need and idea for new doghouses for the police departments came about last October when the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act became law in the state of Texas. The bill prohibits chain tethers and requires safe housing, shade, and water for dogs.

The construction and trade students took up the cause and constructed 10 homes for the departments’ dogs. This wasn’t the first time program students built doghouses. Past classes also provided  Living Love Animal Rescue in Marble Falls with pet homes.

“It’s a good way for us to help out the effort (by partnering with the police departments),” Construction Trades and Welding instructor Jesse Soto said. “It teaches the students to be a part of something bigger than themselves.”

Sophomores Noah Escandon and Gavin Hernandez, who painted the houses before they were sent off, valued the opportunity to do something that would make a difference in their town.

“(The most impactful moment) was working with my friends while enjoying helping out the community,” Escandon said. 

Residents donated funds and supplies, spreading the cause and effect even further. 

“The officers and representatives actually came (to pick up the houses),” Soto said. “That’s when the students were able to see how much their efforts were appreciated.” 

Both Soto and Venghaus expressed their desire to teach new generations just how much community service can positively impact an area. 

“I believe it helps our program,” Soto said. “It’s beneficial. It’s about teaching our students not only how to build the houses but having them understand why working for a good cause is good for them as well.”

“People stepping up to volunteer, that’s part of it. It’s teaching kids that they can build it, but that’s not a problem,” Vengahus added as he explained why he took the project and what he hopes students will gain from it. “The thing is teaching them that, ‘Hey, you’re going to do things in life that’s just the right thing to do.’ That’s service.”