Most Advanced Woodworking Lab In The Country Sits Inside Colorado Classroom
When the Peyton school district superintendent heard about a woodworking instructor who was shaking things up in Oregon, he decided to bring the man and his program to Colorado. “I was looking for something for these kids to grab on to,” Superintendent Tim Kistler said. “I saw what Dean (Mattson) was doing, and I said we need it here.”
In Oregon, Mattson partnered with industry leaders and created in-demand woodworking classes that drew hundreds of students. Now, he’s attempting to make lightning strike twice by converting an abandoned schoolhouse in Peyton — northeast of Colorado Springs — into a manufacturer’s oasis with enough professional equipment for experts to deem it the most advanced woodworking lab in the country.
Students from Peyton Junior High and High School, along with a few teens from surrounding rural areas, file into their lofty classroom stocked with the best tools and machinery in the world. Donning protective glasses, the students check in with their instructor, Dean Mattson, and get cracking on their projects — a small cabinet.