BLACK HILLS, S.D. (KELO) — Students with the Box Elder Job Corps are taking on a major renovation project. One that comes with a spectacular view.
Although it’s a hike to get up to the Custer Peak Fire Lookout, these students say it’s worth it.
Seth Ruff and Abdibset Apdiwahab say it’s a good mix of fun and hard work.
“A lot of work we have done in the past was a lot of repair work. This is kind of like that but on a bigger scale,” Ruff said.
This structure was originally built in 1941. Since then it’s served the same purpose for the National Forest Service as a fire lookout.
“What we are doing with the lookout is actually maintaining its historic character, that it’s going to look like what it looked like when it was first built,” David Porter, District Archeologist, said.
The National Forest Service teamed up with the Job Corps and HistoriCorps on this renovation project which will take about 5 weeks to complete.
“Hopefully they will be inspired to go into historic preservation as well because we need more people to be doing that. A lot of these buildings are getting to be around a hundred years old and if we want to be able to keep using them in adaptive ways, we are going to need people with the construction skills and who have a passion for history,” Beckett Hunecke, HistoriCorps Crew Leader, said
And so these students, like Ruff and Apdiwahab, can take this valuable experience with them in their futures.
“When we are done we can do some construction in the future,” Apdiwahab said.
“I would really love to build houses for people in the future, custom houses,” Ruff said.
Altogether, the renovation project costs around $140,000.