Dan McKena’s excessive school construction class has quietly labored on charitable tasks to profit the Westerly, Rhode Island, group for greater than twenty years. 

That all of the sudden modified when the web caught wind that over a dozen of McKena’s college students at Westerly High School banded collectively to construct a bus stop for an area elementary school student who is wheelchair-bound. 

“The joke is we’ve built every picnic table, lifeguard stand that’s located in the town of Westerly,” McKena instructed Fox News. “It’s just something we kind of do quietly and this story just kind of got put out there on social media and it kind of blew up and took off.”


Student Mason Heald holding the sign that he designed and made for Ryder Killam's bus stop. 

Student Mason Heald holding the signal that he designed and made for Ryder Killam’s bus stop. 
(Dan McKena )

It all began when 5-year-old Ryder Killam’s father, Tim, posted on Facebook in September that the household was searching for a bus stop to change their makeshift shelter manufactured from a patio umbrella tied to a fence. 

Tim Killam was attempting to discover a method to hold his son, who was born with spina bifida and is totally wheelchair dependent, sheltered from the tough New England climate whereas ready for the school bus. 

“Our door to the bus stop is approximately 75 feet and in inclement weather, it was very difficult to rush Ryder out to the stop,” Tim Killam instructed Fox News. 

And once they lastly make it to the bus, “it takes time for the wheelchair lift to deploy out of a school bus so we needed this to be able to shelter him as best as possible,” Tim Killam added. 

Ryder Killam waiting for the bus with his makeshift umbrella bus stop. 

Ryder Killam ready for the bus along with his makeshift umbrella bus stop. 
(Tim Killam)

The Facebook put up caught the eye of an area steerage counselor who instructed the Killams to attain out to McKena. 


McKena had been sitting with considered one of his college students, Mason Heald, attempting to work out a senior undertaking when Tim Killam’s e mail reached his inbox. It was excellent timing. 

“I looked at him. I said, ‘You’re designing a bus stop,'” McKena recalled. 

Ryder Killam's bus stop in production. 

Ryder Killam’s bus stop in manufacturing. 
(Dan McKena )

With the assistance of 14 different college students, Heald received to work. 

“The weather can change instantly … we’ve had snow on Thanksgiving before,” McKena stated. “I just kept visualizing that I didn’t want him sitting under an umbrella that I initially saw in a snowstorm.” 

He stated they “just kept pushing and pushing to get it done.” 

Ryder Killam's bus stop in production. 

Ryder Killam’s bus stop in manufacturing. 
(Dan McKena )

After roughly a month of laborious work, Killam’s alternative – which was designed so he may truly sit on this chair and see the bus – was completed. The finish end result was an ADA-compliant hut with two home windows. For the winter months, the Killams added a warmth lamp. 

After the group caught wind of the story, somebody dropped off a heated blanket for Ryder to wrap himself in, Tim Killam stated. 


The Killams have been “blown away” with the hut and the outpouring of assist from the group. 

It “makes loading and unloading on the bus flawless,” Tim Killam stated. “The size is perfect and because it’s ADA compliant, we are able to be inside with him. Ryder can be anxious, so having one of us with him is so important.” 

McKena says that though he is been doing this for “20 something years, this is the first time it’s gone like this.” 

Ryder Killam's bus stop before being delivered to the family. 

Ryder Killam’s bus stop earlier than being delivered to the household. 
(Dan McKena )

In truth, McKena stated considered one of his former college students, who now runs his personal landscaping enterprise – picked it up and delivered it to the Killams without spending a dime. 

McKena stated the purpose of his class is to ensure his college students are “aware of basic construction techniques.” 

By incorporating these tasks, “not only are they learning to use the tools and equipment, they’re also learning how to be a part of their community,” he stated.