Butler Tech teens earn experience landscaping Monroe Schools office

Credit: Journal News

Nearly three dozen students from Butler Tech's landscape, design and construction program are finish up a major project for Monroe Schools.

Credit: Journal News

Nearly three dozen Butler Tech students are finishing up a real-world landscaping project in Monroe and earning valuable job experience at the same time.

The teenage students' latest project is sprucing up the exterior and grounds around the Monroe Board of Education office on Yankee Road.

Mark Anderson, landscape coordinator for the Landscape Design and Construction program for Butler Tech, said the months-long project doubles as an outdoor classroom for the teens as they prepare for careers after graduation.

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“I try to get them (students) out and have real-world experiences. This is a large-scale project of about $60,000,” said Anderson.

Courses in the program include learning about landscape design, hardscape installation, landscape systems management and turf science and management, along with plumbing, electricity and flooring.

Butler Tech, which is one of the largest career school systems in Ohio, places an emphasis on the business and design side of the landscape industry through hands-on experience with the planning, design, and installation of plants, brick pavers, hardscape, lighting design, and water features.

Anderson said workers in most in the landscaping industry in Ohio start out with an hourly pay of $15 to $20 but can soon advance to a crew foreman position paying from $50,000 to $70,000 annually.

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“A lot of people think the program just has to do with mowing lawns and doing small planting but the students here did the entire design work and built some retaining walls as well as some brick walls,” said A.J. Huff, spokeswoman for Butler Tech.

“They use different computer programs to lay out the design for their projects. And with this particular project they made a presentation to the (Monroe) board of education … and they started work in the spring and have been working hard all fall to try and get it done before it gets cold."

Butler Tech senior Antonio Pridemore calls the project “very realistic.”

“Doing this type of job you get to work as a team and you get to learn how to use tools and all the elements of the job,” said Pridemore, who is from Hamilton. “This is real good opportunity for me.”

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