Observational Deck Below Station 3
Aaron Willis
Troop 176, Fremont

My project was to build an observation deck at Pond A Station 3 that will block off access by visiting students to a storm drain pipe.  The observation deck is an 8ft. by 8ft. wooden platform with a 42.in. tall wooden rail on the three sides that face the pipe and surrounding pond area.  This project also included 3 wooden steps which will lead down to the deck platform. 

                     storm drain inflow pipe before project

measuring dimensiions

When we met with Dr. Blueford she showed the various projects she needed help with.  She mentioned she had a more challenging project – building an observation deck at Station 3.  She said it would require working with the county to get their approval for the project.  I knew immediately that this was the project I wanted.  It was going to be a real challenge.  I wanted to have a project that wouldn’t be easy, and but substantial.

building stairs to platform

framing the deck

Dr. Blueford notified the County of my project and they were concerned with a scout and his dad building a deck that would be used by the public.  My dad and I met with the County Engineers to discuss and review the draft plans that we put together.  Once they met with us, they offered to assist with the revising of the plans.  They were very helpful in providing the resources needed to get the plans revised and approved.  It took them about 2 months to do soil tests, develop the plans, and issue a building permit.

The revised plan developed by the County Engineers required a much sturdier structure because of its use and its close location to the Hayward Fault-line.  The revised plans also increased the cost of construction from $702 to $1482, which I underestimated in my revised budget.  I had great volunteer turn out for project construction.  I had 34 volunteers to help with the actual construction of my project.   Due to the high volunteer turn-out food and drinks that was budgeted for $225 cost $538.

  pour cement for foundation building the deck

The project allowed me to learn how to lead people so they knew what they were doing, how to do it, and how to get things done efficiently.  It was a bit of a challenge to lead a large group of workers who were doing many different tasks - sometimes complicated tasks. It was a challenge to keep people assigned and busy as they finished each task.  I did delegate leadership to other senior scouts when needed to assist with overseeing some of the tasks. In conclusion I learned how to plan, organize, and lead a project to its successful completion.   The scouts who volunteered and I learned a lot about building a deck. 

 I would like to thank Dr. Joyce Blueford for all her support.  I would like to thank all of the people that helped build my project:  Luke Schlobohm, Shrey Patel, Paul Lew, Kevin Jay, Desmond Chee, Kyle Quock, Chris Wilson, Greg Jay, Rohun Patel, Rahul Patel, Austin Wong, Brandon Dileanis, Arman Chini, Allen Tam, Jacob Schlobom, Jordan Wong, Peter Braun, Matt Trieu, Alex Kunz, Sohan Patel, Virginia Wong, Leona Jay, Mike Jay, Elvina Chee, John Price, Debbie Willis, Maurice Chee, Sean Latimer, Adam Shawen, Bill Lew, Smita Patel, Stephanie Breckenridge, and Brandon Louie

finished deck

 I would like to thank Cresco Xpress Equipment Rental and Hulbert Lumber for their support. 

 A special thanks to the Alameda County Engineers who enthusiastically helped me make my project a success:  Hank Ackerman, Art Mateo, John Shouldice, Alan Lang, Moses Tsang, and Joseph Chen 

I would like to give another special thanks to my dad, Barry Willis.  I won’t have been able to do this project without him.

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