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Students help build a home in New Bern

By Michael Hennessey
Published On: Mar 04 2013 05:15:07 PM CST
NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY- -

Students from the University of Pennsylvania are in New Bern building a home.

They drove 8 hours to spend their spring break working with Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity’s Craven County Construction Supervisor, James Garner, says it’s the “Collegiate Challenge.” Students from three other schools will be making the trip to New Bern to pitch in each of the upcoming three weeks.

Student James Schwartz said at the University of Pennsylvania there’s “a program called alternate spring break. Where you go throughout the country and help out in different ways. And one of their programs was here for New Bern and it was for habitat for humanity so I just signed up and I applied and I got in."

When asked why she chose to spend her spring break building a home, June Luo, originally from Milwaukee, WI, said she finds it “really rewarding and also just a really eye opening experience to get to hear their stories. They're not all from here you know the people I meet, the people I work with, it's really cool.” Schwartz added, “I've been on the roof for the past hour laying down shingles, I mean I've never had that experience and maybe I never will again.”

 

Construction began on the home in January. It’s expected to be completed in May. Upon completion, the home will be worth about $125 thousand dollars. However, thanks to volunteer work, the cost of labor is cut out. That means the home will only cost about $90 thousand to complete, giving the family $35 thousand dollars in equity as soon as they move in.

The owner has to pay $1,000 up front and contribute 200 hours of work on the house. Friends and family can help them meet this goal. The family will have a 25 year mortgage, completely interest free.

Habitat for Humanity builds about 3 houses a year in Craven County. Since its inception, they’ve built 53 homes in Craven County and 41 internationally.