Students in Lake Shore Compact’s Construction Management Technology Career Program have been busy over the past two years completely renovating a three-bedroom home in Mentor and are now able to show the fruits of their labor.
Lake Shore Compact is a career technology consortium open to junior and senior high school students in Mentor, Euclid and Wickliffe school districts. The compact offers a wide variety of two-year program options ranging from culinary arts to criminal justice.
Since fall 2019, construction management students have been working hard to knock down a house in Mentor from top to bottom. Located at 8461 Markwood Drive, the newly modernized open concept home is the fifth home that construction program students have renovated over the years.
The organizers of the program held several open days so that visitors could tour the house and take a look at all the changes made by the students. The last open house will be from noon to 2 p.m. on November 21.
Before setting foot in the home improvement program, junior students earn Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety certifications and learn how to properly use construction tools during their first year. By the time they are older, construction students typically work on home renovations for a few hours each school day.
According to Joseph Glavan, director of Lake Shore Compact, nearly 50 students have had the opportunity to work on the house since it was purchased a few years ago for the program. When the students first arrived, the house still had the layout, wallpaper, and amenities dated from its construction in 1973.
Led by Construction Management Program Instructor Jim Capel and Class Assistant Mike Glodowski, the students installed all new flooring, stainless steel appliances, an island in the open plan kitchen and a two-storey rear terrace, which overlooks a stream that runs behind the house.
In addition, they renovated the three bathrooms and created a bar area in the courtyard with a stove.
Capel explained that when the group started working on the house in 2019, they discovered many issues with the house, including rotting around windows and doors. Students had to replace anything that was rotting with new fixtures, which took a long time to begin with.
“Originally we were going to finish this house in a year, because we usually do a house in a year, but then COVID hit – which was a blessing in disguise,” Capel said.
With the normal period of work on the house extended, Capel said students were able to take on more special projects to really help the house stand out, like the back patio and front stone walkway.
“We haven’t had to do some of these things, but I like to make things unique and different, and just give students as many opportunities as possible to find their niche,” he said.
Many students have done just that. Some have found their specialty in electrical work, while others have enjoyed laying tiles, and some have become experts in pouring and smoothing concrete.
“They know how to work, which is a real blessing,” said Capel. “You can’t teach work ethics, and a lot of these kids in these programs love to work, and they really love using their hands. “
Vince Popik, Nick Smith, and Zach Sullivan were just a few of the Mentor High seniors who renovated the house, and the three agreed that they each found their own favorite – and least favorite – aspects of working on the House.
For Smith and Sullivan, transforming the look of an entire room in a day from installing new flooring was one of their favorite activities.
“Everything we’ve done here is new to me, I haven’t really done a lot of that before in my life,” Sullivan said. “Learning things now will help me in the future when I have my own house – instead of having to spend money to get other people to do things, I could do it myself.”
Popik, one of the students who undertook the complex process of creating the outdoor bar, which features smooth concrete counters, said he learned a lot from transforming the original patio into a unique kitchen space in the backyard. He said he hopes to continue working in a construction or landscaping field early in his career.
“It’s a good program, I really enjoyed it,” said Popik. “I can’t even explain all the things that you are learning and the things that I am going to undertake from here on out, and continue to build from that. “
The Markwood Drive home will be auctioned off on December 1, an event to be hosted at the home by Mentor Schools’ CFO Bill Wade. The auction is expected to start at $ 315,000, with the proceeds going towards the purchase of the next home that career technology students will renovate.