Ten freshmen Building Trades students and instructor Jack Jones returned from a week of service in Long Island Feb. 8 where they spent five days helping home owners there prepare to rebuild homes destroyed by Super Storm Sandy last fall.
“This was a rich and rewarding learning experience on many levels,” said Jones. Students worked on four homes which were identified by the New York Annual Conference (NYAC), a mission and relief organization through the United Methodist Church that coordinates volunteers to assist with recovery efforts.
“We were thrilled to have Alfred State students here to help us rebuild,” said NYAC Disaster Response Coordinator Warren Ferry. “Having volunteers who are diligent, open to taking on tough challenges, and who have the skills to use the right safety procedures is a tremendous help. We hope they come back soon!”
The students worked on homes that were between the demolition and reconstruction phase of construction. “This phase of construction is a particularly stressful time for home owners under the best of circumstances,” said Jones, “but the people we were helping had just lost everything. They were very grateful for the work we provided.”
Jones said students were able to see real-world instances of exemplary building work and how certain construction techniques and workmanship helped some structures withstand damage while other methods may have contributed to making structures vulnerable to storm damage.
“Being able to see real examples like this while also experiencing how important safety and quality to the people who live in these buildings was a meaningful experience,” added Jones.
The project was part of the Building Trades lab component and was coordinated by through Alfred State’s Center for Civic Engagement.
Project-based learning is a cornerstone of the Alfred State culture. When students tackle real-world problems, they learn how to think, not what to think. They can also engage in meaningful civic engagement developing solutions to ongoing community challenges.
A recent example took place in Apalachin, NY, from March 11-16. Mark Payne, assistant professor, Fox 40 WICZ.
Standing alone (green shirt):
Christopher Addison, Hamburg
Front, left to right:
Angel Cavanaugh, Whitesville; Cody Madigan, Bath; Kevin Nicoletti, Cochecton; Wayne Carroll, Jr., Bath; Michael Kashdin, Buffalo; and Mark Payne, associate professor, heavy equipment operations, Building Trades Department.