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franklin county times

MCC students build house from ground up

By By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
July 30, 2003
Sonny Hopkins said he is proud of the house he and his classmates built on 10th Avenue, and the skills he learned may lead him to a new career.
Hopkins is one of 21 students from the construction trades program at Meridian Community College who have built eight houses in the past eight years. He is currently employed with Delphi Thermal Systems.
Howie Schiedel, who teaches construction trades at MCC and coordinates the "house project," said he thinks allowing students to participate in building a house better prepares them for a career in construction or industrial maintenance.
The house, on 10th Avenue, is on the market for $101,500 and Schiedel said there has been some interest from prospective buyers.
The construction trades class dug the foundation, laid the blocks, framed the house, laid the brick, installed the vinyl siding, installed the sheet rock, painted the house, built the cabinets and installed the wood floor. The industrial maintenance class also participated in the project, installing the plumbing, electricity and air-conditioning.
Butch Stuart said he learned a lot about building during the year he worked on the 10th Avenue house.
Others included in the house building project were Olin Thomas, construction trades instructor at MCC, Wayne Waldrep, instructor of drafting and design, and Gail Barton, instructor of horticulture technology.
One of Waldrep's students, Michael Penny, designed the house and Barton's horticulture students did the landscaping.
Schiedel said the project is funded by a loan from BankPlus. When the house sells, the profit will repay the loan. He also said the project would not be possible without the participation of the community.
Schiedel said Allan Stewart, president of BankPlus, will donate the interest from the construction loan to the MCC scholarship fund. He also said Robert Ward and Barbaree Heaster donated the lot where the house was built, and Atlas Roofing donated the roof.

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