New opportunities for learning on the job are being created as Grand Rapids design and constructions students partner with Habitat for Humanity to draft plans for redevelopment of the Southwest Side of the city.
Habitat acquired property on Rumsey Street SW, including the former St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church and surrounding homes, for a redevelopment project in the Roosevelt Park neighborhood, according to a press release.
Habitat officials plan to pair small groups of ADC students with architect mentors, who will help them apply their studies in building design and urban planning by examining the property and creating site plans for the neighborhood’s development.
Each group will present its design concept to the other students, architects and Habitat staff.
“We are constantly seeking to partner with organizations that are willing to offer insight into the professions available,” said Gideon Sanders, director for Innovative Strategies for GRPS, who said the district is excited about the partnership developing within the community for the ADC students.
“Habitat Kent has been a champion of this model for a long time and they continue to seek innovative ways to engage our students in the industry.”
Sanders said the partnerships bring unique, educational and interesting co-curricular experiences that students to develop a more robust understanding of the industry as they continue their paths toward careers.
Habitat officials said they want to partner with the district “to provide GRPS students with an opportunity to apply their studies in building design while enhancing community involvement in Roosevelt Park redevelopment.”
On Thursday, Jan. 30, Habitat Kent staff, local architects and the GRPS students will engage in a design planning session.
The Academy of Design & Construction is located on the district’s Innovation Central High School campus, 421 Fountain St. NE, with three other career-focused, public-private partnership programs. The school serves 101 students in grades 9 to 12.
As part of their studies, students work on at least one Habitat home every school year. Approximately 20 students are spending two hours a day on a project at 941 Merrill Ave. SE, in the Black Hills neighborhood. A mother and her young son are expected to move in this summer.
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