Building Trades class unites with Habitat for housing project

Authored by Jim Langham on Mar 3, 2014

Students from Andy Hackenjos’ Building Trades class from Adams Central have united with the Adams County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity to provide a valuable service for each other.
The area students are helping the Habitat project, located on the south end of Berne, to stay on schedule. By giving the class the opportunity to work on the house, Habitat has provided needed work and opportunity for Hackenjos to continue to instruct the students in his class.
This year has been especially difficult to keep any project on task, said Hackenjos concerning the project. Since the class does its manual work in the mornings, a canceled school day or even a two-hour delay can hinder progress.
“We have lost 21 days; that is unbelievable but the guys are working hard to keep things on task,” said Hackenjos. “We should be dry walling now. I wanted to have the dry wall hung by spring break.
“It is going to take two full weeks to get it dry-walled,” Hackenjos said. “We may have to get some volunteers in from Habitat to get things to the point where they need to be.”
Hackenjos pointed out that students for the class come from Adams and Wells county schools. The instructor emphasized that things have come together well in spite of the delays.
“We normally do the foundation, but it helped that it was already in,” said Hackenjos. “We started Oct. 1 and had it under roof and the windows and doors in by Christmas. The delays have made it harder, but it’s still a good project.”
South Adams senior John O’Donnell said that he got involved because he liked the idea of giving to Habitat and he enjoys hands-on projects.
“This is different than the traditional school work,” said O’Donnell. “I would rather work with my hands. I like all the things we’ve worked here. It helps if we do some work on our house.”
Some of the students, such as South Adams junior Cody Baker, said that he already plans to go into construction-related work. He noted that the house project has simply confirmed his thoughts about his future.
Baker said that he has appreciated such learning experiences as how to do gas lines, electricity and plumbing.
“I really like construction work,” commented Wes Thompson. “I’ve always wanted to learn about these things. It’s nice how you can help somebody else with troubles. It makes you feel good.”
Habitat official Vickie Jaques said that the uniting of forces with the project has really proved to be a great time. It takes the pressure off of Habitat officials to get the project completed and it has helped the high school class by giving them a good, solid working project.
“It feels really good to do this for someone who really needed a house in order to survive,” said Norwell senior Matthew Miles. “It makes you feel good to produce a house for people who need it and don’t have any money.
“We need a lot of people to join construction class,” continued Miles. “I love doing this stuff. I like it very much.”


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