Educational Foundation of Alfred Celebrates Construction of 50th House

The Applied Technology Campus of Alfred State College has begun construction on the 50th house built by students in various construction-related programs on campus and underwritten by the Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc., a private foundation representing faculty, staff, and friends of Alfred State College dedicated to improving the ASC community through support of its educational programs.  

House number 14 built in 1979 by Alfred State College studentsThe Ed Foundation, which owns the Wellsville campus, supports the construction of these houses through the purchase of land and materials, allowing the students to experience "on-the-job" laboratory experiences in residential construction.  The houses are then sold, most recently, for upwards of $200,000. Several of the Applied Technology curriculums work together to build these houses, including carpentry, masonry, air conditioning and heating technology, electrical construction and maintenance electrician, heavy equipment operations, robotic and computerized control technician.

The success of this program is due to the confluence of several factors:  the support of the Ed Foundation, the dedicated faculty, the growing skills of the students, and, ultimately, the quality of the houses.

The Applied Technology campus was established by Alfred State College in 1966.  It was an experiment that realized success beyond the expectations at the time, filling the gap for post-secondary vocational training.

The 22-acre parcel housing the School of Applied Technology consists of more than 20 buildings with some 800 students enrolled in 19 programs.  These programs, which stress "learning by doing," incorporate traditional classroom experience with comprehensive "on-the-job" laboratory experiences, a number of which are off campus working for the community. Many of the on-campus laboratories include live projects such as building homes, repairing vehicles, serving meals in the culinary facility, and working with industry on prototyping and other projects.  Since 1966, the Foundation has invested over $3 million in improvements on the campus.

The first house, built in 1972, was a Cape Cod style dwelling with the amenities of its time.  House #50, which the College is proud to note was begun during its centennial year, is a 2,250-sq.-ft. two-story home with a covered front porch, two-car garage, and full basement. The downstairs boasts a music room, formal dining room, breakfast room, great room, kitchen, raised entry, and laundry room. There are four bedrooms and two and one-half baths.  The home is situated on 7.6 wooded acres.

The latest in the series of completed and sold houses (#48), located on Foundation Drive, Meservey Heights, Wellsville, offers privacy and scenic views from either the large covered deck or the stamped concrete patio.  This one-story, 2,392 sq.-ft. home, also features vinyl-siding with brick accent on the front.  Situated on 6.34 acres, it also boasts a two-car garage, full walk-out basement, four bedrooms, two-and-one-half baths, master bedroom suite with his-and-her closets, formal dining room, living room with stone fireplace, first-floor laundry, breakfast room, and kitchen with custom oak cabinets.  The deck can be accessed through French doors from either the living room or the master suite.  The 2,392 sq. ft. of basement space offers plenty of room for storage.

House #48 is a true product of the 21st century.  This house stepped up to a new level of service for its homeowners.  The electrical construction and maintenance electrician students joined forces with the robotic and computerized control technician students to add a professional quality phone, data, and communication networking system, as well as a centralized cabling and termination center for video.  This level of network and patch panel design is state-of-the-art.  This home was the second in the area to have this quality and level of networking incorporated into its design. 

House #49, which will host an open house in May, incorporates many of these same features in addition to the fine craftsmanship which makes these homes so popular. Also located on Foundation Drive, this 2,078-sq.-ft.vinyl-sided, stone-front, two-story home offers a private setting on 12.24 wooded acres.  The home includes four bedrooms, two-and-one-half baths, a gathering room with a wood-burning fireplace, a parlor with a vaulted ceiling, a formal dining room, a kitchen with custom oak cabinets in the kitchen, a breakfast room which leads to a large private back deck, and a down stairs laundry room, an attached two-car garage and walk-out basement with a stamped concrete patio. The heating system is a combination of hot water base board and radiant floor heat.

George Richardson, professor and chair, Building Trades Department, notes, "When the department started building homes, we were building single-family homes that were about 1,500 - 1,800 sq. ft. At the time that was what the first-time home buyer was in the market for. About 1982 we started building larger homes 2,100 - 2,500 sq. ft. range and we started to sell to the "move up" home buyer--typically folks who were buying their second home. Up until 1999 we built on the typical size lot that you would find in most sub-divisions. In 2000 we started to build on our Meservey Hill site and these homes were on five to seven-acre lots.

House number 47 built in 2007 by Alfred State College students"In 2007 we started to move toward ‘Green Building,' which is building to improve energy efficiency, indoor air quality, using sustainable building products, minimizing waste through better building design and recycling, using low-water-use fixtures and reducing maintenance. Our 50th home will be Energy Star Certified, and we hope that future homes we build will also be built to meet the National Association of Home Builders ‘Green Building Standards' or US Green Building Council LEED Standards.

"As the housing trends change, our program has evolved in regards to what we build and how we build to meet the demand of the industry."

ASC's building construction alumni have been very successful as they go out into the world.  Michael (Mick) Galatio,'75, has achieved a reputation as a premier home builder in Nevada where he was named Builder Member of the Year by the Southern Nevada Homebuilder's Association in 2005. And he attributes his success to the education he received at Alfred State.

Alfred State provided "a good basis to get me started in the building trades" field, said Galatio, who earned an associate's degree in building construction in 1975. Galatio has taken that degree and constructed an incredible career, culminating in the creation of his own innovative home building company and its remarkable growth.

Galatio spent about 11 years in the construction industry in supervisory roles prior to founding Desert Wind Homes in Las Vegas in 1994. Galatio said the training he received at Alfred State sets him apart from many of his competitors. When Galatio visits a job site, he knows if the flooring has been installed correctly, or whether the closets meet specifications. That's an advantage that his CEO competitors at other companies, who generally come from the business side of the industry, do not have, he said.

The glitz of Las Vegas is a long way from the foothills of Alfred, but Mick Galatio remains appreciative of the training he received at Alfred State and the expertise he absorbed from his instructors.

"They were all good teachers," he said of his instructors at the college. "I think it is a great program at Alfred State."

More recently, graduate Conroy Parchment (2001 with an AOS degree in building trades: building construction and in 2005 with a BT degree in construction management technology) is a project manager for Rodgers Builders, one of the largest health care construction companies in the nation.

Parchment not only received the training that helped him achieve success, but the caring faculty was also a factor.

"Alfred State totally changed me. I was very shy. I attended Alfred State for my associate's degree in construction. Professors stretched my vision. After my first two years, I went for my bachelor's degree, which took another four years. [Editor's note: Parchment earned a two-year AOS degree from the Applied Technology Campus and then went on to earn a bachelor's degree in construction management technology on the Alfred Campus.]  It was a hard decision, but one of the best I ever made.

"I joined the Student Senate which taught me how to speak, work with people, delegate, and become a leader. I eventually became Student Senate president and president of the student activities club.

"In the real world, you need strong people skills to succeed on the job. The professors at Alfred State will tell you straight. Now that I'm out in the real world, I see how valuable it was for my professors to befriend me and teach me so much of what I'd need on the job.

"That's why I'm so willing to give back to Alfred State. Alfred is the reason I am who I am today."

But the "proof is in the testimonials!" Owners of the Alfred State College-built homes, have only good things to say about their dwellings:

"We've lived in our home for over nine years.  The quality of the construction and workmanship is excellent.  Our floor plan is open and very bright which was the real selling point of the house for us.  The home always elicits compliments from visitors," notes Daniel Guiney.

"Just before obtaining the position of assistant professor (at Alfred State College), my wife and I looked at no other house. Both of us liked what we saw in house #48. We are truly amazed at the workmanship these 18-, 19- and 20-year-old students do.  From the cabinets, to the masonry, to the laying of the ceramic tiles, everyone did an exceptional job. My wife and I applaud the instructors of the Building Trades Department for their teaching skills that prepare these students for the work force," notes Jerry Ives, assistant professor, Automotive Trades Department.

As Alfred State College looks back on its 100-year history, and the 40+-year history of the Applied Technology Campus, it takes great pride in the 50 quality homes located throughout Wellsville constructed by the faculty and students of Alfred State College thanks to the support of the Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc.  You may view a photo gallery of many of these homes online.

In 1945, the Educational Foundation-previously known as the Benevolent Association-was formed through private investment.  It was incorporated in 1946 as its constitution states, "To establish, maintain, and manage living quarters, dining facilities, recreational centers, and other programs in harmony with normal student life in scholastic and recreational channels at Alfred State College."

In 1968, the Benevolent Association's responsibilities changed when the state began providing dormitories and dining halls. The Benevolent Association liquidated itself and formed a new corporation called the Educational Foundation, still dedicated to the purpose of benefiting the College.