Students in the Construction Technology program at Green Mountain Technology and Career Center are working in Morrisville on the construction of a single-family home with Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity.
GMTCC offers a construction class that involves hands-on experience. The students come from all over Lamoille County from several sending schools, and they are able to get directly involved in the community with this program while gaining valuable skills in their interest areas.
The students are at the construction site twice a week on Wednesdays and Fridays. They are assigned tasks that teach them the hands-on skills that they are unable to learn from simply being in the classroom. Greg Stokes, their instructor, works with Green Mountain Habitat Construction Supervisor Jason Heath on skills and processes for construction and carpentry.
“The best thing about working with the students is watching them grow as far as their ability to be carpenters,” said Heath. For this group of students, Heath has seen them begin to work well with each other and begin to get more comfortable with their work.
Stokes worked with another group of students on a different house in Morrisville three years ago. The students were able to complete important work on the house, such as framing, installing windows, and completing siding.
Stokes explained the Electrical and HVAC programs had also worked on the previous house, and a new group of students will be able to work on the wiring and heat pump installation for the current project.
One student, Lily, said about the program, “It gives us the opportunity to actually feel how it is in the world. You don’t learn all the skills in school, but out here, working with other people, you can.”
Heath said that the students quickly gained confidence in themselves and their skills.
“When they start out, they get here and they’re a little shy. After a couple of weeks, they’re really confident,” he said.
The students have the opportunity to work with others and to gain more than just construction skills. They learn how they work best and how to work with others. Stokes helps the students troubleshoot problems and work around obstacles.
“Greg Stokes is great. He works with them well. They catch on quickly. They’re all really eager to learn,” Jason said.
During the fall, the class’s goal is to prepare the house for the winter. The students worked on the framing of the house, and they are preparing for the installation of the trusses for the roof.
Stokes explained that working with Green Mountain Habitat is a great way for the students to get involved with the community that they are from, since this project is located only a short ride from their school.
“They’ve been instrumental as far as working on this house. We’re lucky to have them,” Heath said.
The house is being developed in partnership with Downstreet Housing and Community Development. The final home will be 1,300 sq. ft. with two bathrooms and three bedrooms. The house will be two stories and with an unfinished basement.
This house is estimated to be completed in summer 2024.