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Media Release
Release Date: April 1, 2015

Camosun's Carpentry Foundation students are giving back, working on a local building project for Habitat for Humanity Victoria.

A class of 28 entry-level students are training on site, learning and constructing the footings, foundation, frame, floors, and walls of a new townhouse four-plex on Cedar Hill Cross Road in Saanich for the non-profit organization.

"They've now built the foundation, first floor frame and exterior walls, and two-thirds of the interior walls," says Carpentry Instructor Mark Swanwick. "Right now the students are back in the classroom to finish their theoretical work."

"Our trades classes have assisted with other Habitat community projects before," adds Swanwick. "It saves Camosun money for teaching materials and is such a great applied worksite experience for our students. Yes, we can teach these skills on campus, but to learn on an actual job site teaches them to think like a worker. There are challenges that come up on a daily basis and they have to learn to work effectively with other trades people and suppliers."

"It's a symbiotic relationship," says Tom Swift, Habitat Project Coordinator, himself a Camosun Carpentry grad. "We get the students to help build the foundation, floors and frame and they get a true, creative building experience – one they can be proud of contributing to for years to come."

Camosun's six-month Carpentry Foundation program teaches students the basics of framing and formwork. Students learn safe work practices, how to interpret drawings and specifications, site layout, how to use materials, hand and power tools, survey instruments, and how to build wood-frame housing.

Local students from Arbutus Middle School recently heard about what the Camosun Carpentry students are doing, and decided to send cards from their "Change Team" to thank Camosun for helping out in the community.

The cards came as a nice surprise to the college students and a reminder of how good it feels to affect change and do something that benefits people in need.

"Our trades students are really excited to lend a hand to this project," adds Swanwick. "They know how important it is and many of them are interested in working with Habitat as volunteers on future construction sites."

Habitat for Humanity Victoria has built 18 homes in the city so far. The Cedar Hill Cross Road townhouses are expected to be completed in September 2015.


Michelle Tinis
Communications & Advancement

Camosun Framers

Derek Smith marks plate

Levelling wall plates

Photos: Habitat for Humanity Victoria

Last updated: April 1, 2015 10:15 am

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