Local students raise the bar at Battle of the Build event

Carter County made good use of an old pickup truck tailgate to claim first place. Photo by Earl Neikirk, neikirkimage.com

High school students from around the region once again exceeded expectations with their innovating outdoor living projects at the fifth annual Eastman Credit Union Battle of the Build.

The event, which was put on by the Johnson City Area Home Builders Association and held for the first time on the campus of Northeast State Community College, provided an opportunity for dozens of area high school students to showcase their skills. In addition to the skilled trades displayed by the teams competing in the event, the culinary programs at Science Hill and West Ridge joined forces to prepare an outstanding dinner featuring locally sourced ingredients.

When it came time to hand out the hardware, the team from Carter County cleaned up. The judges loved the outdoor dining area the team constructed out of the tailgate of an old truck, complete with music, a beverage station and a fountain that serves as a centerpiece. Carter County was awarded first place and also received the East Tenn Rent-Alls Popular Vote Award as well as the Chairman’s Choice Award.

As impressive as Carter County’s project was, they finished just one point ahead of runner-up Tennessee High, which put its carpentry skills on display by building a wood grilling station and a unique set of chairs. The project was also selected for the Builder’s Choice Award.

Johnson County finished third with a custom-made firepit, complete with a pair of chairs and a corn hole game.

The Carter County team took home three awards, including first place, during the fifth annual Eastman Credit Union Battle of the Build on Saturday. The team included Wesley William, Tyler Dugger, Gavin Shoun, Matthew McNeish, Autumn Sheffield, Dakota Carber, Wyatt Robinson, James Collins, Paige Greer and Simon Eller. Scotty Johnson, Philip Arrington and Cody Ayers were the instructors.
Science Hill students Karter Richmond, Evan Jones, Tyler Nelson, Cade Fleeman, Sean Bryant and Alex Lemus built a clubhouse under the direction of instructor Rob Tester. Photo by Earl Neikirk, neikirkimage.com
David Crockett students Ethan Barnett, Cody Salyers, Josh Cleber and Robbie Bell with the ping-pong table they built under the supervision of Mark Good. Photo by Jeff Derby
Daniel Boone student Maci Masters shows off the picnic table her team entered into the competition.

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