Monday, June 17, 2013

Johnson College in PA Teaches Hands-On Modular Construction Courses

For the first time, Habitat for Humanity has teamed up with Johnson College’s carpentry program to build a house for a family in need and Wednesday, it was delivery day for the modular home.

It was a special delivery in Honesdale, parts of a modular house rolling to their final destination along Riverside Drive and this home was built by college students at Johnson College in Scranton.

Johnson College students have been building modular homes as part of their education for more than three decades but this is the first time the college partnered with Wayne County Habitat for Humanity, Joe Musheno, construction and design division chair for the college, said.

As many as 50 students worked on the house as they studied carpentry, electrical installation and heating and ventilation systems, he said.

"It's valuable experience to them," he said. "They get a chance to work for real."

“We love it because Habitat builds with volunteers and it’s been difficult getting enough volunteers to frame a house,” said Clyde Kreider, Habitat for Humanity.

Once the frame arrived safely, crews started the work to set the house in place.

Carpentry students at Johnson College have built homes like this for years. This is the first time it’s going to Habitat for Humanity.

The students learn and Habitat gets to provide a home to a family in need.

“We think it is a good match and we love it,” Kreider added.  ”It actually helps everyone together.”

“It’s like a dream. I can’t believe this is happening.  I’m very grateful,” Gina Feola said.
Watching all of this was the soon-to-be owner, mother of three Gina Feola.

And this was quite a moment for her, watching her future home get hoisted into place. She couldn’t help but think of the memories her family would make there and how she’s going to decorate it.

“I never thought I would be able to afford a place of my own.  But thanks to Habitat for Humanity.  It’s an amazing organization and because of them I’m going to be able to afford my own home.”

The house may be in place but the work is far from over.  There are still hundreds of hours of work for volunteers to finish this up and among those volunteers doing the work are the new homeowners.

“That’s what we do it for is the real joy is seeing someone have the house they love and being able to design it. They were able to choose their colors, location and appliances,” Kreider said.

The homeowners don’t get this for free.  Besides volunteer work, she’ll have to pay the interest free mortgage on the place.

But what started as a college project will end as home sweet home.

“It will be home.  Beautiful.”

Habitat for Humanity paid for all the materials for the house then Johnson College provided the free labor through the students.

This fall, students will start work on another Habitat home.

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