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St Lawrence College builds with Habitat for Humanity


The students taking the General Carpentry Program at the Cornwall Campus of St Lawrence College have been putting their knowledge to good use. They are helping to build the next house for Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national, nonprofit, faith-based organization. Their mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners to build affordable homes and promote home ownership. Habitat for Humanity has successfully placed more than 1,400 families into new homes.

Habitat for Humanity – Seaway Valley representatives Dick Aubry, Louis Tremblay and Mary Lee Smith approached St Lawrence College about having carpentry students help with the build. Instructor and site foreman, Mark MacDonell said, "The work is going very fast." The 19 eager students are divided into two groups alternating between the classroom and the Victoria Ave building site. In previous years, MacDonell explained that the students were placed with various employers for job placement and were assigned a cross-section of tasks at various stages of the building development. This project allows them to be involved in the process
from start to finish and to see firsthand the collaboration of all the trades. MacDonell said, "With this, everyday is a learning experience."

"The students are having a good time," said MacDonell. "I’m making this as much fun as possible and getting the work done."

Even on a humid afternoon, the camaraderie of the students continues as they hammer nails into the sheet insulation.

"This is a win – win," said MacDonell, "the College wins, the students win and Habitat wins."