Malaspina Carpentry Students Build More than Houses

April 21, 1998 - 5:00pm

The residential construction trade is celebrating an important ten-year anniversary in a special way. They are donating time, materials and skills to a unique project that will benefit Nanaimo and the next generation of home builders. The Canadian Home Builders Association, Nanaimo, and Malaspina University-College are building their tenth house together.

The carpentry class of 1998 is working with Homes By Kimberly, a custom home contractor known for their prestigious homes built in the Fairwinds/Nanoose Bay area, to build a two-storey executive home on Garibaldi Place in Parkwood Estates that will be a showpiece for the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Canadian Home Builders Association in Nanaimo.

Subject to getting a licence from the BC Gaming Commission, the house will again be the Grand Prize in the Malaspina University-College Foundation's fourth annual Lotto for Learning this fall.

Because of the significance of the anniversary this year, several new partners have joined the students, the Foundation and the Home Builders in their endeavour. This year the Nanaimo Credit Union is financing construction. Also, more than 30 companies including national manufacturers and local suppliers to the regional building trade are supporting the project with contributions of new products, labour, special expertise and examples of new technology in home construction.

"The house will be a showpiece for the construction industry," said Laurel Lambert of Homes By Kimberly who designed the 1,800 square foot, two storey house. "It will demonstrate the latest in homebuilding technology and the skill and quality of local trades and suppliers."

"We're pleased to be involved in a project where the next generation of homebuilders get an opportunity to put into practice what they learn in the classroom."

Malaspina's carpentry instructor, Ross Ballard said, "The students perform all the carpentry to the lock-up stage and are responsible to the builders and the framing subtrade. This is a working practicum for foundation and framing skills, from start to finish, and would be hard for students to achieve without this kind of partnership." Ballard supervises the students and provides hands-on training and detailed theoretical instruction.

Local members of the Home Builders Association then complete the house by doing the finished carpentry, detailing, and cabinetry along with local subtrades who do the plumbing and electrical installation. Local suppliers complete the installation of appliances, carpets and other fixtures. The 1998 home has many luxury features like custom oak cabinetry, cultured marble bath fixtures, elegant foyer, vaulted ceiling and other specialty items.

The last three houses have become the major prize in a fundraising lottery by the university-college's Foundation in its Lotto for Learning campaign, which has raised over $330,000 in three years for equipment to be used by students.

"Thanks to the close relationship developed over ten years between our carpentry programs and the Canadian Home Builders Association, Nanaimo, the Malaspina University-College Foundation has been able to develop support from local contractors, building officials, sub-trades and suppliers," said Ballard. "When taken as a whole, this network adds up to a valuable cooperative training partnership for the program, the graduating carpentry students, today and in the future, who will be looking for employment in the homebuilding industry."

When the home is licenced by the BC Gaming Commission, it will be decorated and furnished by a local interior designer and other suppliers in readiness for viewing by the public

for the 1998 Lotto for Learning conducted by the Malaspina Foundation. Completion time is expected to be in the early summer. More than 3,500 people visited last year's home which acted like a showcase for the suppliers and trades who contributed to the project.

By the time the home is complete, ready for the Malaspina Foundation's Lotto for Learning, a lot more has been brought together than concrete and wood by the carpentry class of 1998. What they have really built is a network of lasting relationships for their own and the future of other Malaspina students--a construction that may just prove bigger and even more longlasting than a house.

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