GREAT FALLS — In the heart of downtown Great Falls, high school students from both Great Falls High and Great Falls CMR work on a house from scratch during the school week. The program that allows for them to do that is called High School House and it has allowed students for the last 20 years to build almost 50 houses for families.
This year’s group features football players from both high schools and with the crosstown rivalry between the Rustlers and the Bison this Friday, some of the kids will be working together during the day but preparing to beat each other at night.
“On the job site I view them more of a coworker than an opponent but as soon as we get out of the class, we go right back to hating each other but I love it working with these guys has been a great experience and I just love every second of it,” CMR senior lineman Davin Hickman said jokingly.
With camaraderie playing a major key in both construction and football, it turns out both activities aren’t too different from each other.
“It’s very important for those kids to understand where they fit in a team and taking a kid that’s active in sports and put them in an environment where it takes the same similarities understanding on the job site you really have to understand what your roles and responsibilities are,” Sletten Contruction Project Manager and Great Falls High assistant coach Dave Smith said.
Whether it’s football players or students looking to further their construction knowledge, the goal is the same, give back to the community.
“They’ve been doing this for over 20 years here in Great Falls and are approaching 50 houses built by High School House kids,” Great Falls High instructor Pete Pace said. “So it’s very rewarding to see all these houses and communities improved with these houses built,”
Great Falls High and CMR will face off against each other in the annual crosstown rivalry game this Friday at Memorial Stadium. The Bison will head into the game 4-4 while CMR sits at 5-3.