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Construction Management Students Help Move Habitat to New Home

Pennsylvania College of Technology Construction Management Association students Ryan P. Becker, Sean J. Scully, Tomasz Jezowski and Courtney L. Shreiner do some heavy lifting during Greater Lycoming Habitat for Humanity%E2%80%99s recent move in Williamsport.Continuing a mutually beneficial partnership that has crossed a number of years and academic majors at Pennsylvania College of Technology, members of the Construction Management Association and their adviser recently helped the local Habitat for Humanity chapter move into its own new Williamsport home.

On a snowy Friday morning, more than a dozen students accompanied by Wayne R. Sheppard, assistant professor of construction management in the college’s School of Construction and Design Technologies moved Greater Lycoming Habitat for Humanity from the Hepburn Plaza shopping center to its new headquarters in the former R&J Ertel Inc. offices at 540 Lycoming St.

The nonprofit agency has dedicated nearly 40 area homes for qualified, low-income families in the past two decades, with five more planned once the weather breaks.

“This year, we have really stepped up our participation as a club with the community especially organizations like Habitat for Humanity,” said Katie E. Chearney, of Baltimore, CMA vice president. “We also built a playhouse on display at the Lycoming Mall that is being raffled by Habitat, and have volunteered time for several other projects. We currently are trying to organize several student groups from around the campus to participate in several projects at the new facility.”

Other construction classes have joined in area building projects over the years, and the local Habitat chapter historically has been aided by Penn College students in majors as diverse as culinary arts and human services.

“With the number of student volunteers we had and the right equipment, the move was extremely smooth,” said Ryan P. Becker, of Johnstown, president of the student organization. “Several of our members were familiar with the new location because they had helped renovate some of the space prior to the move. We not only helped them move furniture, but we helped them unload a truck full of materials for their ReStore.”

Construction management students Ryan A. Sokoloski and Katie E. Chearney maneuver a desk up a ramp and into a transport truck.The ReStore resells donated new or used building and remodeling material doors, windows, cabinets, working appliances, etc. with all profits channeled back into adequate housing for area families.

“There were pallets of El Dorado stone, cabinets, a refrigerator, a stove and miscellaneous trim. This is all going to be part of their new location,” Becker said. “Our club is excited about the work that we have done with Habitat and the help we have provided. Habitat does a lot for the community and we wanted to find a way to help them with the great work that they do.”

That cooperation is expected to extend through the Spring 2008 semester and beyond, Becker said, with participation in some of Habitat’s upcoming building projects.

“We are very encouraged by the partnership we are forming with Penn College (students and faculty) in creating a great work experience for both entities,” said Todd J. Fox, executive director. “Without committed volunteers, our community efforts would not be as effective as they are. And this commitment is visible firsthand with the students. We sincerely are grateful for their recent efforts. This is just the start to many new projects in 2008.”

Habitat can be reached by e-mail or by phone at (570) 322-2515.

For more about construction management and other majors in the School of Construction and Design Technologies, visit online or call (570) 327-4513. For more information about Penn College, visit on the Web, e-mail or call toll-free (800) 367-9222.

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