Fulton, Gibbs Students
Pitch In For HabitatPosted by Josh Flory on 10/23/2018
Two Knox County high schools are getting hands-on construction experience while also lending a hand to people in need.
Students in the Career Technical Education program at Fulton High School and Gibbs High School this month began working with Knoxville Habitat For Humanity’s Project Playhouse, which builds kid-sized playhouses for local families.
Local businesses donate $2,500 to cover the cost of materials, while a discount from Lowe’s allows Habitat to direct profits from each playhouse to their core mission of building full-sized homes for the community.
For Knox County students, the initiative allows them to sharpen their construction skills. Matthew Maitland, a senior at Fulton, said Project Playhouse has given him a chance to use saws that he was unfamiliar with, and that he has enjoyed the teamwork involved in assembling the homes.
The most challenging part? “You have to make sure stuff is lined up and right or it’s just not going to look good,” he said.
Once the homes are completed, they’re partially taken apart for delivery to the sponsoring business, which can paint and decorate them before giving them back to Habitat.
Jason Settle, a Fulton teacher who is leading the project at that school, said his students work from a simple plan provided by Habitat, and occasionally have to adjust on the fly in order to address unexpected challenges.
The goal is to learn how to read basic plans, how to use tools safely and how to work as a team. “This is not exactly how a house goes together, but it still gives them an idea of what goes into it,” Settle said.
Lacey Mellott, special events coordinator for Habitat, said the initiative is a great team-building opportunity for local businesses.
Fulton students are building 7 playhouses, while Gibbs students will build 3 playhouses for the program.