Construction class collaborates with Habitat for Humanity


Over the course of the school year, Mark Goodrich’s seventh and eighth period construction class has been working on a project. It isn’t a typical presentation or poster; instead, the class has been working with Habitat for Humanity to finish and give away a home in Brook Circle. On Saturday, December 13, the students, Habitat for Humanity members, and the family attended a ceremony, where a member of Habitat for Humanity speaks and prays over the home.

Goodrich, who began working with Habitat for Humanity in 2006, believes that the projects helps the students along with the community. The class gives the students dual-credit through DMACC, with enough credits to account for almost a year of the construction certification program. The program is designed to give students, who will most likely not go on to a four-year school, credits to be certified in a trade. In turn, those students also have an opportunity give back to the community.

“It’s a win-win deal. The kids get to volunteer,  get credit and experience, but the community is benefitting. A big part of living in Pella is giving back to our community. We’re really fortunate that we have this way to give back to the community,” said Goodrich.

The house is not simply given to the family free of charge. Instead, the family receives a loan for the house that is significantly smaller than most. Because all the work is volunteer, the only cost of the house is materials, so the loan is half as much as a ‘normal’ loan would be. The loan is also interest-free. Because the home is so low-cost, families must go through an application process to be considered.

After the house was finished, the class began work on another Habitat for Humanity house, a project that will continue on through second semester. The students travel to the house to work outside despite weather conditions.

“There aren’t a lot of people willing to go outside and work if it’s too hot or too cold. I love building something that benefits another person and their family. I feel great knowing I helped put a roof over a family’s head. I take comfort in that,” said junior Dylan Larson.

The class relies significantly on leadership within the group, Goodrich explains. Students take on different roles within the group, working together as a team the entire time. Goodrich is less of a leader and more of an overseer, while different students take on leadership positions to make the team work together more effectively.

“For me and the kids, it’s really a team type of effort. All of us working together for an hour and a half every day. We get to be a tight-knit group similarly to an athletic team. It’s a different team setting, and this is a huge group project. All those group dynamic things are magnified in this setting, and the leadership I see is on a bigger scale than a history project or science project,” said Goodrich.