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Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Sask Polytech is changing lives through applied learning opportunities

Students learn applied skills and the value of giving back to the community


Building five houses over five years for Habitat for Humanity, Prince Albert, may seem like a big commitment, but it's something Saskatchewan Polytechnic was eager to agree to. Now work has begun on the second house, it's clear Sask Polytech carpentry faculty and students are committed to providing families with homes.

"Our carpentry students work diligently over their short seven-week program to build a home for those in need," says John Erickson, (acting) dean, School of Construction. "This unique partnership provides students with a tangible, applied learning opportunity to frame and finish the exterior of a house."

This hands-on learning experience is the result of a memorandum of agreement signed between Sask Polytech and Habitat for Humanity, Prince Albert, in February 2015, which outlines the goal of having carpentry students build five houses in five years. Under this five-year plan, students are responsible for framing houses and installing the windows, exterior doors, siding, soffits and shingles.

"At the end of their program students have work-integrated learning experience and also can feel good about giving back to their community," says Erickson.

According to the agreement, Habitat for Humanity provides the funds for materials and is responsible for finishing the interior, aided by the families that will live in the house. Each house will be built at the Sask Polytech Prince Albert campus and later moved to an available lot within the city.

"The faculty and students have been amazing to work with," says Jan Adamson, Habitat for Humanity executive director. "These homes are of modest design, but hold a huge amount of hope and go a long way in changing the lives of our recipient families."

According to Adamson, Habitat partner families participate in a rigorous application process and volunteer their time in lieu of a traditional down payment. Partner families are also able to purchase the home through a zero interest mortgage.

For more information on the School of Construction visit: saskpolytech.ca/construction.

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