Hidden Cleveland: CHS Architecture class partnering in Habitat project
by DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer
Mar 20, 2014 | 1050 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CLEVELAND HIGH Architecture I students listen intently to Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland construction director David Clark as he lists the specifications for the shed the students will build this semester.
CLEVELAND HIGH Architecture I students listen intently to Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland construction director David Clark as he lists the specifications for the shed the students will build this semester.

What is the worth of a shed? 

Cleveland High students in David Gluckner’s Architecture I class partnered with Habitat for Humanity and may stumble upon the answer.

From a literal standpoint, the students plan to complete everything from conception to construction. This includes a cost estimate of the materials needed to build a shed.

However, figuratively, a shed costs weeks of determination, discipline, creativity and, in this case, goodwill toward man.

“The students themselves are going to do all the work,” Gluckner said. “[Habitat construction director] David Clark is here to make sure everything is done up to code, but students themselves will do what needs to be done.” 

Clark presented the project to the students several weeks ago. He acted the part of a client as students meticulously took notes. He described the size he needed and which codes to follow. Individuals and groups discussed the notes and collaborated to create the shed Clark dictated.

The presentation by Clark was only one component of the students’ overall experience with the project. Gluckner taught them about Occupational Safety and Health Administration construction guidelines and how to use a hammer and screwdriver. Students listened to lessons on block and post foundations, roof framing, wall framing and finishing materials like siding and shingles.

Students will complete the first half of the project in the Architecture Lab’s open area. An investigation of the shed’s frame by Clark will determine the next step. Either the frame will be moved to the Habitat for Humanity’s house worksite, or students will hit the drawing board again.

According to Gluckner, the design of the shed is complicated in spite of its small size. An ill-conceived design can result in hot or cold air seeping through cracks. Water and mosquitoes will also find their way into a poorly constructed shed.

He expressed his excitement over his students’ real world experience with Habitat.

“When I came here to Cleveland High it was always my thought that I would love to get the architecture students here [involved with the nonprofit],” Gluckner said. “We wanted to make it where the students would be involved in the community with that subject matter.”

Career and Technical supervisor Renny Whittenbarger said architecture students are not the only ones partnered with the local nonprofit. It seems almost every aspect of the high school’s CTE program is joining in on the fun.

“It basically goes back to the demands of the industry. We want students to be more aware of what is going on,” Whittenbarger said. “It is a part of giving them real world experience. To get real world experience, you have to get beyond the walls of the building.”

Cleveland High science teacher Erin Hattabaugh said her health science classes became involved eight to 10 years ago. She brainstormed over how her students could aid Habitat. She decided to give each new homeowner a first aid kit, which paralleled her students’ lessons.

“The impact on the students, is that they become more aware of how Habitat works, and that it is not a handout, but a hand up,” Hattabaugh said. “Although it is a small gesture, I’m sure the homeowners appreciate it.”

She attends the home dedications with her students when the opportunity arises. One time, the brand-new first aid kit was put to work when the homeowners’s child fell off his bike.

Added Hattabaugh, “In the past, when we were able to help fellow students who were receiving the home, it was even more meaningful.”

Volunteer Services Manager Anna Carmichael said Habitat loves the partnership with Cleveland High.

“... I love to see that kids are using their own skill and things they are learning about to better the community through our organization,” Carmichael said. “It has been really cool to see their ideas and the initiatives they are taking.”

According to Gluckner, Whittenbarger charged each branch of the CTE department to use their strengths to get involved.

These ventures potentially include:

- A video timeline by broadcasting students to capture the build at various points and a biography of the family.

- Food prepared by the culinary arts program on home dedication days.

- Makeup, hair cuts and overall pampering for the families by cosmetology students the day of dedication.

- Lessons on how to use Microsoft Works for homeowners provided by students studying computers.

Additional branches of the CTE department are in talks to see how they can partner with the nonprofit.

Carmichael pointed out while auto mechanic students are not helping out on the worksites, the partnership brings in money for house builds.

The partnership has two components. First, homeowners can receive a free oil change from the students. Second, automobiles donated to Habitat’s ReStore are worked on by the students.

Carmichael said the nonprofit is interested in using the same model of service with others outside of the high school.

“We are really expanding our volunteer program in the sense that it is not just about the ReStore and construction anymore,” she said. “There are committees you can be a part of, ranging from family selection to events.”

More information on Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland can be found at hatitatofcleveland.org.