LC Habitat chapter builds for those in need

After a week of work, students raise the first wall at the work site.

Amanda Bagnall-Newman, Website Editor

The Lakeland College Habitat for Humanity chapter headed to the mountains for the sixth annual Spring Break Habitat trip, which took place from March 5 to 13 in Longmont, Colo. The Lakeland chapter worked alongside the Habitat for Humanity St. Vrain chapter at various worksites in the area.

Students were led by Habitat for Humanity co-advisor Elizabeth Pritzl and vice president Janel Weir. The vans left at 8 p.m. Saturday night and arrived Sunday at 12 p.m., with Habitat officers driving the group across the country over the course of 16 hours. The group stayed at a local Mission House courtesy of the Habitat St. Vrain chapter.

The students worked at two sites in the Longmont area throughout the week and built houses for those who had lost their homes to major floods in 2013. During the week, various locals provided lunches and dinners for the group. On their way back to Wisconsin, the group was even treated to Subway by a friendly stranger.

“It was nice to meet so many people who were willing to provide us with meals while working at the job sites,” stated Michele Marquardt, senior math and computer science major.

The cost for students to attend the trip was $150, which included most meals, lodging, t-shirts and transportation. The group held a kringle and cookie dough sale in the fall, and also received funding assistance from the Student Foundation Board.

Monday was the group’s opportunity to explore the Longmont area. Their day started with orientation, then a morning hike around Lake McIntosh, which is located at the base of the Rocky Mountain range. The group then visited downtown Denver to shop the malls, see the sights and visit the capitol building.

On Tuesday, the group started working on homes, laying foundation, doing trim work and installing cabinets. The group was then treated to a fajita dinner by a local Habitat for Humanity volunteer.

On Wednesday, the group continued work on the previous build site, starting to prepare for sub-floor work. Other group members worked on drywall and a continuation of cabinetry work. The group then returned to the Mission House to clean up and have a grill-out.  

On Thursday, students continued at their worksite, installing more trim, installing sub-floor, building windows and support studs. Their work day was finished with the raising of the first wall. Students even had the opportunity to work side-by-side with a future homeowner.

After work, a handful of students took a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park to see the mountains up close.

Friday marked the last work day for the students and took place in a new build location. They were separated into groups, most working in the attic suspended from the roof caulking. Other students laid vapor liner in the house’s crawl space and installed porch pillars.

After their work day, a local church hosted a home cooked dinner for the group in thanks for their work.

On Saturday, the group left to head back to Wisconsin, once again making the 16-hour journey across the country, and arrived back on campus Sunday at 9 a.m.

“The trip went very well, we were able to make a difference, help some people and have a lot of fun while doing it,” stated Audrey Nichols, senior chemistry major.

For more information about Lakeland’s Habitat for Humanity chapter, contact chapter president Weir or co-advisors Pritzl and Casey Schmitt.