The co-op shop class at Tantramar Regional High School has been working on the house since January and it has been a good learning opportunity for all of them.
“It’s a new experience, I’ve learned a lot,” said Grade 12 student Anthony Boutilier as he worked at the site last Friday (June 8). “I worked at Bowser’s Construction last year and I’ve enjoyed the work and learning new things every day.”
“It’s been different but I enjoy it,” classmate Tristan Doucette agreed. “I’ve never helped in the community before but it looks good on everyone, especially when we enjoy doing it.”
The idea of having a class build a home for Habitat for Humanity was conceived two years ago, according to local project chair Tracey Wade.
“We started messing around with the idea and then last year submitted a proposal to the (Mount Allison student) Green Fund to get it off the ground.”
Wade mentioned that seeing the nearly-completed foundation last week was very exciting and commended the students who have been working on it.
“Even though most of them will be writing exams next week, some of them will still be coming here to work, which shows their dedication to this project,” Wade said.
Blaine MacIsaac, the site foreman and supervisor of the class, said the house should be placed on the foundation soon and stressed that the contractors and businesses in town have been instrumental in getting this project going.
“From the people doing concrete to excavation to plumbing and wiring, the local businesses have been extremely supportive,” he said. “The school board as well, allowing the students to be here; it’s taking a risk putting these kids on site.”
“The students have shown a great amount of enthusiasm,” Wade added. “They’ve helped come up with ideas for fundraising and built the shed for the big fundraiser.”
“It means a lot to help people,” Boutilier said of providing help for Habitat for Humanity. “It’s nice to show what we can do as a class.”
While most of the class consists of graduating students, Doucette is only in Grade 10 and says his time with the class has been rewarding.
“I look up to these guys a lot,” Doucette commented. “It definitely makes me feel good when they compliment me for working hard.”
Doucette hopes to continue on with this project or similar projects for the rest of his high school career, something which MacIsaac says could be possible.
“The house won’t be completed by the time the next school year starts so it’s possible the shop classes could be involved in the fall as well.”
MacIsaac also added that the enrolment for shop classes at TRHS has doubled for next year, perhaps inspired by the work of his class with the Habitat house.
The hope of the Habitat for Humanity group is to have the house, located on Charlotte Street, completed and open by Christmas.
Sackville Tribune Post