Setting up Shop

Corvallis Waldorf School
2011-09-14T09:00:00Z Setting up ShopBy RAJU WOODWARD, Corvallis Gazette-Times Corvallis Gazette Times
September 14, 2011 9:00 am  • 

Corvallis Waldorf School will soon have a new woodshop

Lonnie Drouhard gets a lot of questions these days about the rustic-looking barn that’s being built next to Corvallis Waldorf School, at Highway 20 and Conifer Boulevard.

“We get a lot of traffic passing by,” said Drouhard, the school’s administrator. “A lot of people have seen it and wondered what’s going on. My wife works in Albany, and people have asked her about it, too.”

Once completed, the 24-foot-by-48-foot building will serve as the school’s new woodshop and will be used by fifth-to eighth-grade students. Construction began July 30, and Drouhard said he hopes the building will be completed before the rainy season.

A new woodshop was needed due to the school’s growing enrollment, which increased 18 percent from last year.

“We have 166 students this year,” Drouhard said. “We ended last year with 141. So we had to convert the space being used for our woodshop into another classroom. It’s a good problem to have, though.”

About $10,000 was raised for the project last spring. Volunteers, including parents of students, are helping build the structure. Drouhard’s father, Wade, even traveled from Ohio to help. The elder Drouhard is a carpenter by trade.

“They’ve put in about 600 hours so far on the building,” Drouhard said of the volunteers. “We’ve also received a lot of donations from businesses. That’s allowed us to keep costs down.”

Drouhard said the new building will be different from most school woodshops. For example, it won’t include any power tools, such as electric table saws or drills.

“Woodworking is a part of our curriculum,” Drouhard said. “But our students use hand tools instead. We focus on a lot of carving and learning how to make precision cuts.”

Waldorf schools’ curriculum balances artistic, academic and practical work, aiming to educate “the whole child” with material permeated with the arts. There are more than 800 Waldorf schools worldwide. Corvallis Waldorf School was established in 1993.

The woodshop is the school’s first addition since it moved to the former Fairplay School location in 2003. Drouhard said his school has entered a sales contract with the Corvallis School District to purchase the property for $450,000 and hopes to take ownership in 2013. The district currently leases the property to the school for $1,840 a month.

Raju Woodward can be contacted at 758-9526 or

Copyright 2015 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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