When you drive on to the Curlew Job Corps CCC campus, you will immediately see the works of the Center’s bricklaying crew. The old airbase buildings have been veneered in brick, as well as the two new dormitories, one of those new dormitories was built by Center students. Brick pavers form courtyards and pathways. The campus dining room entrance is a tribute to the talent of the bricklaying students.
International Masonry Institute’s instructor, Richard See, has shared his knowledge of being a journeyman mason, with his students since 1998. Says Richard See, “Masonry is not just a building material but is an art form. For thousands of years the craft has been handed down to the youth of our societies. This is what we are doing in our program here at Curlew Job Corps. For those students who have a desire to do something lasting and permanent that they can also be financially rewarded for this is a fine trade. Being part of their rise to success is greatly rewarding for us instructors. Former graduates are currently building the schools, churches, hospitals and homes for America. For example, Tyler M. has had a long career with Pioneer Masonry Restoration out of Seattle; Chris S. went to Ft. Richie, Maryland, for advanced training in refractory (high temperature masonry) then went to work for Guy Nielson Co. in Idaho; Kevin C. is a well established bricklayer in Spokane, WA having run work for Spilker Masonry, the biggest masonry contractor in Eastern Washington; Robert C. is another Ft. Richie advanced training graduate of ours, he went on to work for Barkshire Panel Systems for high rise masonry cladding; Russell P. graduated several years ago, went to Alaska to work for former Job Corps graduate, Orion J., and has been there ever since; Adam H. began work at $29 an hour after a successful OJT with John Urban, a highly respected stone mason in Local 1 Seattle; Jeff D. graduated last year and is doing exceptionally well as an apprentice for J&S Masonry in Seattle, and Anthony B., a December graduate, is currently at the new International Masonry Institute/ Bricklayers and Allied Crafts’ Flynn Center for advanced training. Reports are that he is learning a great deal and building on his natural ability.”
Some of the projects that have been completed in and around our community by Richard’s crew are:
- Carousel building at Ferry County Fairgrounds
- Tile walkways for monument at Eastside Park for Colville Tribe
- Baseball dugouts for the city of Republic
- Stone walls and barbeque restoration at Swan Lake campground for Republic ranger district
- Curlew cemetery block columns for new sign
- Scenic Byways stone sign bases at Sherman Summit and the West Gateway outside Republic
Richard and his crew have been working at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, on the north end of the town of Republic, WA. The Curlew Job Corps crew has finished the restoration of the stonework, where they tuck pointed joints, replaced stone and window sills, and stained stone for color match. As soon as the ground thaws, they will build a split face block retaining wall to replace the present wall.