NIC carpentry students built the greenhouse. Photo supplied by NIC.

NIC students build greenhouse for Prime Chophouse

  • Oct. 10, 2017 11:30 a.m.

Everyone is welcome to the unveiling of a unique greenhouse project that will grow fresh herbs, spices, and vegetables for the Prime Chophouse and Wine Bar in Courtenay.

The Oct. 19 fundraising event will celebrate the work of North Island College’s Carpentry Foundation students and faculty, with proceeds going towards future projects in the community.

“We will be recognizing the work of carpentry instructors Tom Klatt and Erik Hardin and their students,” said Randall Heidt, NIC’s vice-president strategic initiatives.

“We also want to thank Kory Wagstaff, the owner of Prime Chophouse and former NIC chair Bruce Bell, who was the catalyst for the project.”

Hardin designed the building and Klatt’s students in the Youth Train in Trades (formerly ACE-IT) program and the Carpentry Foundation program completed its construction.

“It was a fun project to do,” said Klatt. “It was the entire process of putting a building together – the floor system, roof framing, laying out rafters. They did a lot of millwork and framing for windows. It was a great learning situation for everyone involved.”

NIC invites the community to celebrate the students’ accomplishments at a public Burger and Beverage Fundraiser at Prime Chophouse and Wine Bar on Thursday, Oct. 19, from 4:30 to 8 p.m. The proceeds will go toward materials for future carpentry student projects.

“Kory was looking to add a greenhouse to his property, something that was in the same style as his beautiful restaurant and lounge,” said Heidt. “Thanks to Hardin’s attractive design and Klatt’s can-do attitude, and the support of Dean Cheryl O’Connell, the students had a great opportunity to work on a unique project. Now we hope to raise funds for other projects in the community.”

According to Klatt, the style and materials for the project also provided additional learning opportunities for students.

“It was a timber-frame project, so they got to put up some heavier building processes,” said Klatt. “The students also got to work with higher-end materials — very nice fir lumber and beams — so they had to be very precise with their cuts because there wasn’t a lot of extra material.”

“These kind of projects are special for students, not just because they get to do something different, but also because the project will be around into the future,” said Klatt. “Usually students build something and then tear it down.With this, it’s something they can point to and say ‘I built that’. It’s part of the pride of being a tradesperson.”

To find out more, visit or call 1-800-715-0914.

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