Lansing, MI – Over the winter we brought you the story of Restoration Works, a collaborative effort between Lansing Community College, the Ingham County Land Bank and the Allen Street Neighborhood Center. The program is using vocational students from across the region to restore several houses that had been slated for demolition. With the semester coming to a close, we decided to go back to a house on Kalamazoo Street to see how things have been progressing.
KYLE SHAW: My name is Kyle Shaw, and I'm the foreman. We're just re-building the house up, trying to make it look a lot nicer, help out the neighborhood a little bit and just make it look nice.
I've learned a lot. I've learned how to install heating and air conditioning, some residential wiring, how to build decks, piping; gas piping and copper piping. Basically, everything that needs to go into a house.
TAYLOR VOSS: My name is Taylor Voss and I'm the project manager. For LCC, we get credits; we get a math credit for obviously, measuring stuff. Putting in the heating and air conditioning; that's one of the main parts we get credit for. I think some guys get English, actually, for the written part of it. But most of us are doing a co-op thing from high school and then we switch over here and it counts as those credits; you don't have to take that class in school.
We had to do written stuff in class before so we could learn it all, and then come out here and put it into practice. A lot of the woodwork and stuff is the hardest, and the sheet metal...like, putting in ducts. We had to make all the ducts for the house this winter. We made them in the classroom and then brought them out here and installed them.
MARY ELLEN BROCKLEHURST: I'm Mary Ellen Brocklehurst, and I work for the Eaton ISD Career Preparation Center, and we are located at Lansing Community College. We have about 35 different high schools that come to our program. So, the students are from Eaton County, Ingham County, we have students from Clinton County and even as far away as Ionia County. So, we serve a huge area of students.
This has had a huge impact on the neighborhood. This home was abandoned; I believe it was a drug house, that's what I'd heard. So, there was a lot of damage inside the house, there were a lot of things that were unkempt. And when they came in, the students did a lot of demolition and repair. There's some beautiful woodwork inside. And it's just been a great project for the community because as people are passing by, they're seeing that this home is being restored to its original beauty.
JAREN HOWELL: I'm Jaren Howell. I'm from Holt. I've worked with my dad a bunch on this stuff and with my late uncle. So, I've had the experience growing up. Some of this stuff was new, but a lot of it I've already...I mean, I've got my hands a little dirty with it. I didn't enjoy demolition because of how bad the house smelled. That was a problem...I hated that.
I'm going to take a lot of skills that I've learned and take them into the job field that hopefully I'll go into and I'll be able to use them every day.