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March 21, 2014 2:34 PM

Students build for Habitat in Vegas

Twenty-four Conestoga students recently travelled to Las Vegas, Nevada for a five-day trip to contribute their skills to a Habitat for Humanity build.

Students in the Architecture Construction Engineering Technology (ACET) diploma program spent their February 17 study week touring building sites in the greater Las Vegas area, including the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon Skywalk, before spending time at a Habitat build site.

As part of their trip, students visited the Las Vegas Springs Preserve, an interpretive centre that conducts research projects on building sustainable structures in a desert environment.

Habitat1.jpg Students also met with project architects and a construction manager as they toured the $750 million renovation of the former Sahara Hotel complex on the Las Vegas strip.

According to faculty member Randall Hadley, introducing students to different build locations around North America has many benefits.

“Going on field trips to different locations exposes students to different ways buildings are constructed,” said Hadley. “Construction methods depend on the local environment, building codes and the political conditions of a particular area.”

Students spent three days volunteering at a Habitat build site, painting an entire house and installing all of the doors, baseboards and trim.

“To go on a field trip like this shows students that their skills and desire to help can make a difference anywhere,” said Hadley.

Students were challenged to work together, coordinating their efforts to get the most of out of the time, material and tools available to them.

Hadley said that meeting the homeowner helped students put the job into perspective.

Habitat2.jpg “Meeting with the homeowner and her son showed the students how this home will change their lives,” explained Hadley. “It helped all of the students to understand that no job is too small or beneath them.”

Conestoga ACET students regularly volunteer with the Kitchener-Waterloo chapter of Habitat for Humanity. The Las Vegas build provided them with an opportunity to learn more about local construction methods as they contributed their skills to a charitable cause. Hadley said that the quality and speed of the work completed by the Conestoga students earned them an invitation to return to Las Vegas next summer to complete an entire five-day house build.

Conestoga offers a variety of architecture, engineering and construction degree and diploma programs.

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