Oct 252015



Northland Pioneer College photo by Everett Robinson

Breaking ground for the Building Homes…Building Futures house to be constructed by Northland Pioneer College students are (front row, left to right) Jorge Meza, NPC I-BEST instructor and project manager; Sheryl Hart, deputy associate superintendent, Arizona Department of Education Adult Education Services; Kelly Crawford, education program specialist, Arizona Department of Education Adult Education Services; Dr. Jeanne Swarthout, president, Northland Pioneer College; Frank Lucero, Navajo County Community College District Governing Board member; Ginny Handorf, NCCCD Governing Board chair; Prescott Winslow, NCCCD Governing Board member; James Matteson, NCCCD Governing Board member; Jennifer Smale, workforce specialist, Northeastern Arizona Innovative Solutions; Antonio Soto, I-BEST student; Brandon Cook, NPC College and Career Preparation faculty; and (back row) students Ty Pulley, Kris Benton, Konnor Lummus, Dominic Watchman, Timothy Miller, Tim Hockett, Jessica Jackson, Antonio Herrera, Cherokee George, Devon Endfield, Chantel Taylor, Mark Bennett, (not pictured) Shane Begay and Sheldon Shorty.

  Groundbreaking for the Building Homes…Building Futures house was held Oct. 20 at the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and West Florida Street in Holbrook. Members of the Navajo County Community College District Governing Board, and officials from the City of Holbrook, Northeastern Arizona Innovation Workforce Solutions and the Arizona Department of Education, as well as many Northland Pioneer College students, were on hand to launch the project.

“What makes this program different is the integration of basic skills into the construction courses needed to earn certification in a trade,” said Rickey Jackson, associate dean of Education and College and Career Preparation programs at NPC. “The students, upon completion in June, will receive a Certificate of proficiency in Construction, National Career Readiness and National Center for Construction Education and Research certifications and a High School Equivalency diploma,” added Jackson.

An anonymous donor provided the land for the 1200-square-foot, three-bedroom, and two-bath home designed by Winslow architect Loren V. Sadler. Ken Wilk, NPC’s construction technology chair, and Jorge Meza, construction technology faculty and project manager, said the total-electric, energy-efficient home would also have solar electric and water-heating panels, extra insulation, thermal windows and air conditioning. Floors will be carpeted, with some tile work.

NPC and Northeastern Arizona Innovative Workforce Solutions combined to recruit disadvantaged young adults, over the age of 16, who wanted to learn a trade and complete their high school equivalency exam. There are 13 males and two females in the program. Students started attending classes during the summer, learning shop safety and construction fundamentals.

They applied the skills they were learning in the classroom to build a storage building for the house, which will be used as a tool shed on the jobsite during construction.