In the Community
2010 Quinte Student Structures ProgramStudents from Quinte Secondary School (QSS), involved in the
school's Specialist High Skills Major Program in Construction, and who
will be building a new family home from the foundation to the completion
on lot #21 at Settler's Ridge, near Maitland Drive in Belleville,
attended a sod turning ceremony Monday morning, where the new
family-home project was announced.
GROUND BREAKING CEREMONY
September 21, 2010
by JEROME LESSARD - The Intelligencer
A dozen students from Quinte Secondary School (QSS) will spend the next four months building both a family home and their future.
Lisa Vincent, principal at QSS, representatives from the Hastings Prince Edward District School Board, and Duvanco Homes Inc., held a sod turning ceremony with the young construction workers involved in the school's Specialist High Skills Major Program in Construction, at a building lot in the Settler's Ridge development in Belleville Monday morning.
"We are so proud and excited to announce the kick-off of our new family-home construction project, here at Settler's Ridge," said Vincent.
"Our high skills construction program has been a success story since its very first phase in 2005. It is the Cadillac of high-school programs. The doors are now open to our kids to earning fantastic skills for their future."
The first QSS build was completed in 2006, and a "turn-key" ceremony was held last February to celebrate the fifth family home built from basement to the roof by Grade 11 and Grade 12 students.
The students in the program – mostly boys, "although a few girls were involved in previous projects," said Vincent – work in partnership with a local builder to construct a new home, giving them experience in and exposure to a variety of skilled trades.
As with the last QSS's project, which was also built in the Settler's Ridge development, Duvanco Homes Inc. and its president Dustin VanSoelen will be supervising the construction and making sure the students meet the requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
"We are, at Duvanco, very honoured to be back with the program," said VanSoelen "We are fortunate as local contractor to be building a new family home from bottom to top with a great group of students. It will be a fast-paced environment for you guys [QSS students] and safety will be the key to a successful completion of the project. It's excellent to get students like you involved in the trades."
Carl Pitman, chairman of the Hastings Prince Edward District School Board, echoed VanSoelen's thoughts on the secondary school's high skills program.
"This is great to see another construction project taking off," said Pitman. "This is just great. I don't know other words to describe it. I always tell people to buy one of these houses as they are well-built, by great local students."
The specialized program was designed to help prepare students to make a successful transition from secondary school to apprenticeship training, college, university or directly into the work force.
"Our staff at Quinte have the experience and expertise to facilitate our students in reaching their goals," said Vincent. "Every time we hold one of those sod turning ceremony for the last five years, I am so excited for the students. They will be building a house, but most importantly, they will build their future."