by Marty Mayfield KRTN Multi-Media
RATON — Raton high students and former students are providing their muscles to projects at Raton High School this summer as part of a Youth Conservation Corp work program.
The YCC program is funded by a grant from the New Mexico Department of Energy and Minerals. The grant for this project came in at just under $139,000 with a $33,000 match from the Raton schools. The projects funded this year include a stairway on the north side of the high school, going from the lower parking lot to the upper parking lot. It replaces the one that was removed over a year ago when the main entrance was moved to the north side of the high school. There is a new sidewalk that begins on Tiger Drive near the practice field, where a new retaining wall was constructed. The wall sports the letters RHS TIGERS. Warren McConnell, a three-year veteran of the YCC program and crew foreman, also indicated there will be a new canopy placed over the entrance to the high school main entrance.
The students also have learned other skills when they were unable to work, like how to create a resume, and job interview skills, and some banking concepts from a local banker. Other training included learning how to operate a bobcat skid loader and backhoe. The students will continue through the summer until the projects are completed.
The project started with 17 students, a number which has dropped to 12. They are led by project manager Mark Honeyfield, with instructors and support staff Max Bryson and Wayne Hogg.
Students working on the project are Warren McConnell, DJ Bird, Brandon Luksich, Ashley Jansen, Alee Bird, Alycia Fernandez, Aaron Cruz, Ernesto Garcia, Ben Kamp, Silver Hunnicutt, Nicole Kaplan, and Ryan Irwin.