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CV-Tech students learn through hands-on experience

MINEVILLE To Champlain Valley Tech students in Mineville, the construction project on Cookshaft Lane is a learning experience. To Tom Holland, its a dream come true. CV-Tech students are building a 900 square-foot house for Holland in conjunction with the Housing Assistance Program of Essex County. The home is being constructed next to Hollands mobile home. This place is about to fall apart, Holland said, gesturing to his trailer. These kids are giving me something I couldnt do myself. Theyre doing a great job and theyre such nice kids. Kevin Shaw, building trades instructor at CV-Tech, approached HAPEC last spring with the idea of a student-built house for a low-income family. I wanted to do this for a while, but we could never afford to do it on our own, Shaw said. When HAPEC stepped forward we were excited. Working on the house are students Trevor Gould, Ronnie Burroughs, Rudy Patnode and Hope Lacey of Crown Point; Nate Patnode and John Gaston of Ticonderoga; Jerry Smith and Adam Venner of Schroon Lake; and Lennie Rheame of Elizabethtown-Lewis. Construction started when school began in the fall and is expected to be complete by the time school ends in June. Students are hurrying now to enclose the house so they can work inside during the winter. The house is a story and a half and will have a loft, a master bedroom, bath, great room and galley kitchen. It will have cathedral ceilings. The project has a $60,000 budget. Shaw noted all work must be done to meet state codes and HAPEC requirements. Theyre doing an excellent job, Shaw said of his students. Ive worked with dozens and dozens of contractors. This group is one of the finest Ive ever worked with. Gould said the project means a lot to him. Im having fun and learning a lot, he said, but mostly I feel good about helping someone. Someone is going to live in a house I helped build thats cool. Mary Dickerson, CV-Tech Mineville principal, is proud of her students and their work. Its a phenomenal project, she said. The collaboration of CV-Tech and an important community agency to help a community member is wonderful. She noted the students are learning more than building trades during the project. Math teacher Lance Sayward has been working with them step-by-step teaching the math involved with the project. Holland hopes CV-Tech can build another home when his is complete. This is a great for the students, great for me and great for the community, he said. Hopefully someone else van be as lucky as I am.

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