Photo by Ken Park
How many engineering interns does it take to build a trash enclosure? As part of their service project, Insitu Interns discovered the answer as they built trash enclosures and a playground recently at Rhine Village, in White Salmon.
As of Wednesday, August 15, 2018
How many engineering interns does it take to put together a play structure?
As part of their internship with Insitu, college and high school interns get together annually to perform a service project in the community.
This year’s volunteer project took place at Rhine Village. Interns built a play structure and swing set for the children who live in the apartment complex. They also built enclosures to protect the trash and recycling dumpsters from animal intrusion.
“We wanted to see if there was anything we could do to help the community up there recover from the fire back in February and this came up as an idea,” said Tammy Kaufman, lead community relations coordinator for Insitu.
Typically, the volunteer project happens about midway through the high school interns’ summer internship, about mid-July. However, due to a back order on the playset and excessive heat, the volunteer project was pushed back to early August.
“Parts for the nice playset were back ordered and took extra time to come in which was actually a blessing in disguise because we missed the extreme heat and just got the regular summer heat instead,” said Kip Miller, community relations coordinator for Insitu who oversaw the service project with Shannon McNallan, Insitu’s intern program coordinator.
One would think that a team of engineering interns, building a playset and some enclosures would happen quickly, not so much. When the contents for the playset box was revealed, not only did it come with too many pieces, but it elicited audible groans and an understanding as to why playsets are the bane of every parent’s existence.
“I was hoping we could get it done in about four hours, which was rather ambitious, we ended up being out there for almost 10,” said McNallan.
The interns split up into groups to tackle different sections of the playset, while a larger group began building the enclosures for the garbage dumpsters. Both projects proved to be more complicated than anticipated.
While the garbage enclosures came with far fewer pieces than the playset, they offered interns the difficult task of digging holes in hard earth on one side and working with old asphalt from the parking lot on the other. The interns then had to mix and pour concrete to secure the poles on each corner of the enclosure.
“We are so excited that the team of interns with supervision from Shannon McNallan and Kip Miller were able to complete the playset. We want to give a special thanks to Shannon and her late day interns that stuck it out through the heat to complete the project - that was dedication! We hope this brings a central community point to the complex that lasts for years,” said Kaufman.