Habitat for Humanity Work Begins

High School

Habitat for Humanity has begun work on its eighth house in Pella, and Mark Goodrich’s construction trades class is joining in on the effort. This is the seventh year that the class has worked with the organization, and students are currently busy working on two Habitat homes.

The class started working on the houses the first Friday of the school year, August 28. Students finished one of the houses that was started last year, and they began working on a new house in the last week of September. The projects that students work on throughout the year have changed some since Goodrich first began the class’s work with Habitat for Humanity. The modifications have created more opportunities for projects that students are able to work on.

The last couple of years has been a little different than when we first started,” said Goodrich. “The first five years we tried to have the house completed sometime in January or February, and then we went and did remodels or decks.  The last few years we actually have had two houses going on at the same time, and so there is always plenty to do.”

Midway through last month, students were working on completing the outside of the first house. They installed siding and put up soffits, or the underside of the roof’s eaves, and the fascia, or the boards covering the ends on the soffits. Students were also able to begin installing bathroom countertops and fixtures in the first house. In the new house, they’ve been framing the basement, and they are now busy completing that as well as setting the rafters. Their goal is to have the home enclosed before it begins to snow.

Students in the construction trades class travel to the work site during seventh and eighth period. Students are assessed on participation, quality of work, attendance, punctuality, safety, and cleanup. Those who take the class are challenged to learn about properly using hand and power tools, and they learn how to build and install pieces for the houses using those skills.

The class completed the first home by the end of last month, and the new owners closed on the home on November first. Construction trades students will continue work on the remaining house until it is completed or until the end of the year. Goodrich plans to continue working with Habitat for Humanity in order to expose students to principles of construction while also getting volunteer hours and doing something for the community.

“I think this is a win-win opportunity for the students and the school,” said Goodrich. “The students not only learn a skill, but they get to experience first hand the tremendous support our community provides to people in need. The amount of volunteer hours that goes into constructing a house is unbelievable.”

 

Story written by Makayla Thompson

Photo credit to Tori Swanson