With shovels in hand, 26 students heaved the first pile of dirt at the site of their newest home-building project.
The Villages High School’s Construction Management Academy and Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday for their latest partnership, at 4506 NE 32nd Place in Wildwood.
“We are here to serve families who otherwise would not have the opportunity to have a home,” said Danielle Stroud, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter. “So you are really providing a unique chance for them by building a generational home, not just for that family, but also their children.”
This will be the fifth home built by the Construction Management Academy, with instructors overseeing the students as they are involved in the construction process from the foundation up, including working on drywall, flooring and framing and placing roof trusses.
Throughout the project, students also will work with area subcontractors and trade professionals, gaining valuable on-the-job experience in the construction industry.
Savannah Lester, a senior at The Villages High School, said she is ready to get her hands dirty.
“It’s really cool,” Lester said. “It’s a really good experience to learn, definitely as a high schooler and not having much experience, but we are going to learn it in the next year.”
Lester said she plans to major in business in college and get her general contractor license.
“I like working with my hands and I like doing things outside,” Lester said. “I was born and raised in construction. It’s something I always enjoyed.”
She is joined by 25 other seniors on this yearlong project, including Landon Capazzi.
“It’s cool that I get to build a house for someone who needs it,” Capazzi said. “It’s also cool to say, ‘I just built a house’ and it’ll be cool to look back on.”
Capazzi plans to go into construction after high school as a home inspector.