Republic-Michigamme students finish two-year sauna project

The sauna has a wood-fired stove, a changing room, and electric and water hook-up.
Sauna built by high school students at Republic-Michigamme.
Sauna built by high school students at Republic-Michigamme.(WLUC)
Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 7:15 PM EDT
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REPUBLIC, Mich. (WLUC) - After a long two-year process, students at Republic-Michigamme Schools finally finished a large project highlighting U.P. Finnish heritage.

The mobile sauna was presented to John Hawkins, the sponsor of the $15,000 dollar project, on Friday afternoon.

Industrial Arts Teacher Matthew Barbercheck was there to hand over the keys.

The sauna was built entirely by high school students in Barbercheck’s class.

It has a wood-fired stove and a changing room, along with electric and water hookup.

Barbercheck says the project had a large impact on all the students.

“I’ve got a few students who are really into looking at this more as career now, a few students who understand how these skills will benefit homeownership. Some students are more casual about it but still enjoyed the meaningfulness of the project,” says Barbercheck.

Babercheck says he is up for another large project in the near future, and is looking for new sponsors. Those interested can email him at

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