PITTSBURG — Each year the Southeast Kansas Career and Technical Education Center construction trades classes takes on a special project, including a Disney-esque play house.

This year, they wanted to make something a little more challenging — a pirate ship with virtually no straight lines.

They have been working on the ship since the beginning of the school year and it will be complete early in the spring semester, when they will put it up for auction.

CTEC Executive Director Kris Mengarelli said the money may be used for scholarships in the construction program or to raise funds for the SkillsUSA competition, which they have won in the past five years.

The ship will have a swing set and a slide coming out where one would “walk the plank” along with an 8- by 10-foot “Captain’s Quarters.”

“We had to build something we could sell,” Carpentry Instructor Kim Coates said. “They are working really hard to make it lifelike.

“We’re hoping it looks something you can see at an amusement park.”

Coates said the students had to do research to make it look as planned, with pirate-style features like scroll work.

“It is a challenge for one thing,” he said. “There is nothing straight on it.”

The students said the ship making is made possible because of their teamwork.

“The ship takes teamwork, especially since it is a big project,” SEK CTEC Student Kylee Nelson said.

SEK CTEC  Student Denim Decker said communication and making plans are also important for things to go smoothly.

Nelson agreed.

“Even if it is just a single person’s task we try to help each other,” she said.  

SEK CTEC Student Jacob Davis said one of the most important things about building the ship is making it safe and sturdy for children to play on.

The pirate ship brought pirate-speak — mostly from Coates — and laughter to the workroom the students said.

“It makes [class] a lot more fun that Mr. Coates is funny,” Nelson said.

Coates joked with the students that when they complete the ship, people will find them on board with pirate hats.

The students said it is exciting to know that their work will be auctioned off, and they look forward to seeing someone enjoy it.  

“The pressure’s on when working on it though,” Nelson said. “You want it to be perfect for the person who gets it.”

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.