Monroe 2 Orleans BOCES News Article

CTE students restore and build homes

CTE students working on a zombie house.

The home at 4611 Mt. Read Boulevard in Greece has been vacant and decaying for more than two years, but when BOCES 2 students are through, it will be restored to its former glory and made available for purchase.

In late summer of 2018, the 1,330-square-foot home was selected to be the first house for rehabilitation as part of Monroe County’s Make Monroe Home initiative. The goal is to transform “zombie properties” into affordable, livable and energy-efficient homes for local families, all while training the skilled trades workers of the future.

Through this project, BOCES 2 Career and Technical Education (CTE) students are gaining knowledge and experience in various aspects of remodeling a home. These skills include rough and finish carpentry, replacement windows, flooring, replacement of ductwork for HVAC, updates to electrical systems, plumbing upgrades, lot clearing/grading and landscaping.

“This project has added a rehabilitation dimension to our curriculum, which is a large part of the construction industry today,” said Shawna Gareau-Kurtz, assistant principal for career and technical education. “Working side by side with a general contractor and sub-contractors is an experience we would not be able to provide without this collaboration.”

However, this new venture isn’t taking away from the students’ regular projects. CTE programs in the construction trades cluster, including Carpentry, HVAC/Plumbing, Residential and Commercial Electrical, and Heavy Equipment Operation and Maintenance, are also simultaneously building two homes from the ground up. Seniors are finishing up the 2019 CTE-built house, a project they started as juniors. The plans for this 1,404-square-foot three-bedroom home include cathedral ceilings with custom-cut rafters and custom-made bathroom vanities. Meanwhile, this year’s juniors are beginning the framework for the 2020 house.

“These students are involved in a unique experience that very few of their peers will share,” said carpentry teacher Pete Sharpe. “They are being immersed in a variety of building and remodeling types and processes before they even graduate high school. This will give them an advantage as they go onto college, seek post-secondary training or enter the workforce.”

Together, these two projects are giving students the opportunity for real-world experience and the feeling of giving back to their community.
“Knowing that a family is going to live in the house we spent two years building makes me feel good,” said senior Dan Rush (Gates Chili). “The fact that we also get to restore the zombie house with a real contractor makes the feeling that much better.”

The 2019 CTE-built house will be up for auction this spring. The Make Monroe Home house will be made available by the Greater Rochester Housing Partnership to an eligible first-time home buyer and/or military veteran who has undergone buyer education and secured affordable financing.

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