PITTSBURG — Construction students, historians, community servants and more gathered to break ground at the site of the newest addition to the Crawford County Historical Museum Monday.

CCHM Executive Director Amanda Minton, representatives from Sunflower Kiwanis and Pittsburg State University Construction majors turned dirt to begin work on the CCHM Education Pavilion. The pavilion is being built by seniors from the PSU College of Construction, and will serve many purposes once completed.

“We’re going to use it for everything under the sun,” Minton said. “It will be valuable to give hands-on experience to students and patrons. This is just taking the museum outside.”

The pavilion will host everything from living history events to outdoor exhibits, and Minton said it will also be available to groups like the boy and girl scouts and SEK Antique Gas Engine and Tractor Club for events.

“The pavilion is a look to the future,” Minton said.

The 34-foot by 34-foot pavilion is being constructed by four PSU seniors as their senior project. The group has until the end of the semester to lay the foundation, and do all structural concrete work to the pavilion, such as erecting pillars.

The crew includes Project Engineer Zach Rogers, Superintendent David Snell, Field Engineer Grand Kobza and Project Manager John Murray. Murray said the project provides them will real-world construction experience before moving onto a career in the industry.

“Upon graduating, we’ll know how to run a project and job site, and we’ll have experience dealing with owners, local municipalities and learning how to place work,” Murray said. “PSU is unique in that it’s one of the only construction schools that does a project like this.”

Murray and his crew of classmates have until November 26 to have the structural concrete work done. Next semester, a new group of seniors will take over the project and erect a metal roof and canopy.

The pavilion will be built at the southwest corner of the museum and was made possible through funds from Sunflower Kiwanis and the support of the City of Pittsburg, Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Crawford County Commission — as well as PSU

“Ms. Minton and her group stepped in and took this place over and have been working hard to build it up ever since,” County Commissioner Carl Wood said. “This is just another piece to making this place better and I’m really happy to see this starting.”

Minton said the construction of the pavilion is another great example of the university and community working together.

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at choener@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.