Kannapolis City School System to build Habitat house

  • Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2013 12:37 a.m.

The Kannapolis City School System is launching a landmark project to build a home, change a life and transform a neighborhood.

KCS students, staff, and parents will build a Habitat house from start to finish — including raising the funds. The project is a partnership with Habitat for Humanity and the City of Kannapolis and is the first of its kind in Cabarrus County, according to a school system press release.

On Thursday afternoon, March 28, students from the Kannapolis City Schools took part in a groundbreaking ceremony at 204 Wood Ave. They were joined by Superintendent Dr. Pam Cain, Kannapolis Mayor Bob Misenheimer and representatives from Habitat for Humanity. A.L. Brown High School’s Interact Club came up with the idea for building the house. Interact is a service club associated with the Kannapolis chapter of Rotary International.

A.L. Brown’s Interact students had assisted on a Habitat house in Rowan County and wanted to build a home in their own community, according to the press release. When they brought up the idea, they said they wanted to do more than just build the house. They wanted to raise the funds and continue helping the family after the home was built.

Their staff advisers, Jonathan Farmer and Lindsey Walborn, were excited about the idea and approached Superintendent Dr. Pam Cain, the press release said. The idea quickly grew into a partnership among the Kannapolis City School System, the city of Kannapolis and Habitat for Humanity of Cabarrus County.

“This is one of the most exciting projects I have ever seen,” said Superintendent Dr. Pam Cain in the press release. “The students are so enthusiastic about it, and they are getting everyone in the district involved. We have already raised more than half the money, and dozens of volunteers are committed to the project. We will help a wonderful mother and her two young boys get a new home, and the project will allow her children to start kindergarten in Kannapolis City Schools. We are very excited to start the project.”

The Habitat home will be built in the Carver community of Kannapolis and will be located in an area that city and community leaders have worked to revitalize. The KCS project is part of the revitalization effort and will be done in partnership with the City of Kannapolis.

The city is providing federal grant money to pay part of the construction costs, and the rest of the money is being raised by the A.L. Brown Interact Club and Kannapolis City Schools.

Sherry Gordon, Community Development Program Administrator for the city of Kannapolis, says this project is making a huge difference for the Carver area.

“The KCS project is providing a good home for a good family, and it’s helping to improve the entire Carver community,” Gordon said in the press release. “We’re thrilled that Kannapolis City Schools is launching this project, and we’re extremely proud of A.L. Brown’s students and teachers for leading the effort.”

Construction will begin in early April and is expected to be finished by the end of June. Jonathan Farmer, Interact advisor and A.L. Brown math teacher, says the timetable for the project has been accelerated.

“Our seniors really wanted to be part of this project, so we wanted to start building in the spring instead of waiting until fall. Also, we knew that finishing the house before August would allow the family’s children to start kindergarten as part of Kannapolis City Schools,” Farmer said in the press release. “We really appreciate Habitat for Humanity and the city of Kannapolis getting things ready so quickly.”

During construction, Habitat for Humanity will have trained building staff on site. In addition, community volunteers with construction experience have agreed to help.

Each school, the central office, the Kannapolis Education Foundation and the Kannapolis Rotary Club will take turns supplying volunteers on Saturdays. A.L. Brown’s Interact students are working closely with the Kannapolis Rotary Club and its liaison, Robert Kanofsky, and Interact members will volunteer throughout the construction process.

The entire house will be built by staff, students, parents, and community volunteers connected with the Kannapolis City School System.

To help raise money, KCS has committed to donating $1 for every staff and student in the district. The effort is called, “Each One Give One.” Schools are doing fundraisers and asking parents and students to donate money if they choose. All contributions are voluntary. The Each One Give One effort is expected to raise at least $6,000.

The A.L. Brown Interact Club has received donations from Shoe Show, G&S Heating and Air, Terra Green Landscaping, Hilbish Ford, Day Enterprises, the A.L. Brown Classes of 1952 and 1962, Mike Morton Dentistry, Aaron’s of Kannapolis, 96.9 the KAT Radio, Kannapolis Power Equipment, F&M Bank, the North Carolina Research Campus, Sloan Electric Co., Northeast Engineering, Mel and Sandy Hyder and Home Depot of Kannapolis to provide the rest of the money and supplies needed for construction.

After the house is built, the A.L. Brown Interact Club will help the family move into their new home and make sure they have what they need. The club also wants to extend its partnership with Habitat for Humanity and the City of Kannapolis and build additional homes in the Carver neighborhood.

“Our goal is to continue to build homes and change lives in our community for years to come,” said Lindsey Walborn, Interact advisor, in the press release.

Anyone wishing to donate or follow progress of the house may visit the website that organizers have created at kannapolishabitat.weebly.com. There is also a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KCSHabitat and a Twitter feed at #KCShabitathouse.

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