Chesterton Tribune

 

 

School board recognizes building trades for building first home

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By LILY REX

The Duneland School Board recognized the Building Trades and Interior/Exterior Design programs at CHS for the completion of their first home.

Tom Garzella, Renae Micchia, and Tom Moody were each recognized for their work helming the building, interior/exterior design work and architectural work, respectively. Garzella and Micchia were present at the meeting last night and gave a presentation about the program’s progress.

Garzella noted that the program, now in its third year, has achieved 100 percent job-placement for students. Juniors in the program were placed in summer internships and seniors in jobs or apprenticeships.

Garzella reported that community partnerships have been most beneficial to the program. “There’s actually 64 people involved outside of the students,” he said. The partnerships--22 new this year--allow students completing the program to bypass a year of apprenticeship at some local unions, and networking opportunities have helped achieve the job-placement rate.

Looking forward, Garzella says part of the five-year outlook for the program is to develop a summer program, develop a business plan for the program to self-support, and secure donated lots. The house the students in the program just completed has been moved to a lot in Michigan City and secured to the foundation. Garzella noted that Deep South Rigging has been a valuable partner to the program, and, in an interesting turn of events, the Deep South Rigging crane operator who helped move the house is a CHS graduate.

The Board inquired about the possible donation of lots and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training. Garzella replied that the government of Michigan City may be interested in donating ten lots to the program if the students can produce another home by the end of the school year, which is Garzella’s plan. In terms of OSHA, students receive 10 hours of training right away and build upon that each week for a total of 30 hours. They also receive instruction on material and chemical management.

Micchia said, “I’m so glad we’re able to offer this to our students.” Her 30 design students gained valuable insight on the entire building process as they made site visits to the in-progress house and worked in groups of five to develop possible designs for the inside and outside of the house. Three of their designs were submitted to program partner Housing Opportunities, who will make the final choice. “They actually get an opportunity to create a house that someone’s going to live in. That is priceless,” she said. “They took so much ownership of that and were so proud of themselves.”

 

Posted 8/21/2018

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

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