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Beatrice High School students are rolling up their sleeves once again to help build a new community shelter at Hannibal Park. 

The 11 students in the school's building and construction class have worked on the shelter for the past two weeks and are nearing completion. The city has also pitched in, contracting work for the shelter's concrete pad.

On Thursday, students went to work sheeting the shelter's roof and getting it ready for shingles. 

The shelter was funded by a $10,000 community improvement grant that Lowe's awarded Keep Beatrice Beautiful. 

The 30-by-30 foot structure is situated in the middle of the park near the baseball complex. Six picnic tables will be added when the shelter is completed.

"It's kind of cool that the kids can build it," said Linda Grell, director of Keep Beatrice Beautiful. "We're really fortunate; it's a great grant."

Lowe's awarded 33 grants to Keep America Beautiful, a nationwide community improvement non-profit. Beatrice was one of 16 out of over 600 affiliates to receive a $10,000 grant.

Jim West, industrial technology teacher at BHS, said the project is a great opportunity for students learning about construction.

Last spring, students from the same class worked to construct a house at 712 S. 25th St. as part of the school's Home-Work program.

"What they're doing right now they didn't get to do with the house project," West said. "But now some of these guys are getting a chance to do some roofing...that was something we didn't get hands-on." 

Some students, like Ethan Michael Willis, worked both on the house and the Hannibal Park shelter.

"I thought it would be interesting to kind of get out of the actual classroom for awhile and get more hands-on work," said Willis. "I've always kind of enjoyed that more."

The senior said he plans on pursuing a career in mechanics once he graduates. On Thursday, Willis helped sheet the shelter's roof with his fellow classmates.

"You get frustrated with them sometimes, but other than that, it makes you work better as a team," Willis said.

Keep Beatrice Beautiful has received similar grants from the Lowe's Community Partners Grant Program to fund other projects, including the Chief Standing Bear Trailhead Shelter and a park shelter at the Scott Street Ball Diamond Complex. 

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