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Fox Valley Tech students building house for disabled adults

Posted at 6:57 PM, Feb 28, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-28 19:57:02-05

NEENAH (NBC 26) — This is not your average classroom, but the work being done here is for a greater cause.

  • Students from Fox Valley Technical College are building a house for four disabled adults to live in
  • FVTC has partnered with Oshkosh non-profit Covey for the build
  • “There are waiting lists some as long as eight years for people to get into a home like this. So it’s a huge need in our community,” said Covey CEO Pam Schutz.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story with additional details for the web)

Luke Makowski says he explored a few careers, but finally found his calling in construction.

"Every day we get to come to the house and just...I wake up excited."

But this isn't your average house.

The Fox Valley Tech Residential Construction Program is working with Oshkosh-based nonprofit “Covey” to build a home for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. When complete, four adults will move into the home.

"It's not as common as we'd like it to be," says Covey CEO Pam Schutz. “There are waiting lists some as long as eight years for people to get into a home like this. So it’s a huge need in our community.”

This build is a first for FVTC, having to focus on amenities like easy-access door handles, wheelchair-accessible showers, and wider halls and doorways compared to what one would find in a traditional house.

"It’s a little bit different from what we normally do," Residential Building Instructor Ben Fouts says. "Normally, it’s like a 'spec' home that we’re building. Not partnering up with anybody. It was great to hear during my interview process to hear about what we’re doing.”

For Makowski, it's a chance to hone his career skills while improving the community for everyone.

“That kind of adds to the rewarding factor a little bit. Another class didn’t get to work on a house like this.”

Fox Valley Tech says the home is expected to be done by June, but they've already made promising progress. But, when it's all said and done, the residents will be a part of the neighborhood just like everyone else.