Fanshawe students pitch in to build hope and a dream
Fanshawe College students are about to help a mother and her disabled son realize their dream of a fully accessible home.
Construction on the new, barrier-free home – to be built in east London under the auspices of Habitat for Humanity -- is slated to begin in late March. Fanshawe students volunteered to take part from start to finish. It marks the first, full participation in a Habitat project by Fanshawe students from start to finish, and the first time students in Fanshawe’s Architectural Technology diploma program have taken part, says faculty advisor, team member and architectural technology program coordinator Gary Gerard. It also continues a tradition of Fanshawe involvement in the organization’s projects by college carpentry apprenticeship students.
Jeff Duncan, CEO of Habitat for Humanity London says, “Without the support of community partners like Fanshawe College, Habitat would not be able to offer the quality of service we are giving to our families. I am grateful to Fanshawe College for their enthusiastic support as together we’re building to end poverty in our community.”
Groundbreaking for the new home is slated for Thursday, March 29 at 1 p.m. at 361 Edmonton Street (London).
Working with partners Eden Hall Homes of London, local Habitat officials and the family, whose 14-year old son is confined to a wheelchair, three third-year architectural technology student volunteers prepared a series of designs for a barrier-free house. Then the students met with partners and the family to review the various drawings, sketches, and architectural renderings in order to arrive at a final design.
Carpentry apprentices will begin framing the house as soon as the foundation is laid, says Jim Leslie, who teaches the apprentices along with fellow faculty member Steve Laing. The apprentices will frame the floor, walls, roof and interior walls, shingle the roof, and install all siding and exterior trim. The work is expected to take about 14 days.
Leslie says the curriculum for the second phase of the carpentry apprenticeship training focuses on residential construction, so the project was a perfect fit. Leslie and Laing worked with Habitat’s Duncan and Lee Jones to coordinate the construction schedule. Fanshawe apprentices previously were involved in Habitat housing projects in 2010 and 2011.
“It is great to expose our students to real world design problems, with a real world client,” says Gerard. “Habitat for Humanity’s reputation as a provider of quality homes for deserving families gave us an extra reason to volunteer for this project. It allows the general public to see the skills our future graduates bring to the table. Plus, it gives them invaluable experience for the resumes. The student volunteers were excited to take the classroom to the client by being part of a larger cause. To quote the students, ‘it’s nice to help someone out’. “
For more information, please contact:
Jeff Duncan, CEO, Habitat for Humanity London
(519) 659-1949, ext. 222
Sharon Brennan, Manager, Communications and Development, Habitat for Humanity
(519) 659-1949, ext. 231
Gary Gerard, Coordinator, Architectural Technology Diploma Program,
Office: (519) 452-4430, ext. 4548
Cell: (519) 495-8980