Owensboro High School’s carpentry class got first-hand experience building a home as they aided Habitat for Humanity in building a backyard shed.
Construction Manager Tim Isbell said the shed would’ve taken the Habitat team a day to complete. Now, the project could be completed through the students’ help.
“We usually build these in our shop and haven’t delivered. They are building this, and then they’ll have it. We’ll have it delivered and set it up,” Isbell said.
Isbell and Executive Director of Habitat Jeremy Stephens said that the volunteer work they get from the community and the students is core to the mission of Habitat for Humanity. Even beyond the mission, Isbell said that by bringing the youth in to help, they are extending the mission to the next generation.
Habitat for Humanity often works alongside OHS students to continue the mission and strengthen the workforce for the trade, which is a dying trade, Isbell said.
“This is what builds America. It is great to get it back in the schools and get the trade going again. These kids can have jobs as soon as they get out of high school and very good paying jobs. So something they could stay with and retire from,” Isbell said.
Carpentry Teacher for OHS Nathan Meredith also uses the class to further that mission. While the shed was “nothing fancy” for his line of work, he said the rather simple task is helping students connect with the community through skills they will need throughout life.
“Not everybody wants to be a carpenter in this class, and that’s fine, but everybody’s going to have a house or an apartment, and it’s nice to know how to do basic home repairs and be competent with tools,” Meredith said.
Meredith said the partnership with Habitat connects the students with the community through exposure to affordable housing and gives them a sense of pride in the community they help build.
While building the shed is a class project for them, Stephens and the others remind them it’s more than a grade for the families that receive the project.
“This will go on their property, and they will use this to better their lives, whether they use it for storage, holding their Christmas decorations, or yard equipment; that’s up to them. This will go on a property that a Habitat family will move into and live their lives,” Stephens said.