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Students work hard to build a better community

Habitat High gets started on 11th house

POSTED: August 20, 2013 11:20 p.m.

Conner Thomas, a senior at Chestatee High School, works Tuesday morning on the subfloor at a home being built by Habitat for Humanity.

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A small group of dedicated high school juniors and seniors are spending weekday mornings gaining not only class credit and work experience, but also helping in the community.

“I figured it would be a good thing to spend my time doing,” said Ryan Corrigan.

Corrigan, a Flowery Branch High School senior, is one of 12 students participating in Habitat High this year. Working in coordination with Habitat for Humanity of Hall County, the Habitat High program just started work on its 11th house.

The students’ first day on-site was Tuesday.

“(Habitat for Humanity volunteers) already had the floor system for the most part done,” said program coordinator Rodney Presley. “We’re putting braces in and starting with the subflooring.”

The program just began its seventh year. It includes juniors and seniors from the Hall County school system who have taken construction classes at their individual schools. If interested in the program, they submit an application and go through an interview process.

Consisting of students from multiple high schools, the Habitat High program is based out of Lanier Charter Career Academy.

“I’ve always liked helping people, and I figured this would be a good way to show my support,” Corrigan said.

Conner Thomas, a senior from Chestatee High School, agreed.

“I enjoy it,” Thomas said. “It’s a good program.”

Corrigan and Thomas are just two of the approximately 200 students who have been through the program since its inception. They both plan to go into construction, which is the usual career for students in this program, following graduation, Presley said.

“So many students, after they graduate, on their applications have nothing (under job experience) since they’ve been in high school,” Presley said. “This, right here, is the job experience. They’re actually building a house.”

This particular Habitat house, on Shoreland Drive on the Hall County side of Buford, will go to a woman whose home was ravaged by termites and a mold problem.

Her new three-bedroom, two-bath home should be ready in three to four months, Presley said. Students will be there in the mornings, Tuesdays through Fridays.

“Weather permitting,” he said with a laugh, glancing at the cloudy skies.


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