CRSI partners with Upper Valley Career Center

Piqua: For the second time in two years, the Upper Valley Career Center has constructed a custom, student-built home for individuals with disabilities. In 2012, students enrolled in the school’s carpentry program built a home in Sidney in partnership with RSSI (Residential Supports and Services, Inc.) 14 JVS-Miami CO -2

For over 20 years, the UVCC Construction and Trade Program students, under the direction of Instructor Rick Lenhart, have been building project homes on area lots. The program got its start when the late Paul Duke provided a donation to the UVCC Carpentry program to purchase properties for the construction of homes. Later the 7200 sq. ft. Duke Center was built on campus to provide a fully-enclosed, heated site where students could work and learn, regardless of the weather.

The CRSI home project began to materialize earlier this year at the Duke Center. Students provided the labor while receiving hands-on experience in carpentry, buildings and grounds, maintenance, electrical and HVAC programs as they completed the two halves of the modular home. The two units were later delivered by crane to the property where it is now located on Stauton St. in Piqua. General contractor and supervisor of the project is Unibuilt Construction which built the foundation and moved the two section home for final completion.

According to Lenhart in 2012, the projects not only provide a real-world learning experience but they also give students an opportunity to give back to the community and learn about modifying a home to help individuals with disabilities to become more independent.

Examples of modified home customizations include lower light switches, thermostat controls, counters, cabinets and clothing rods; wider doorways to assure access by all types of wheelchairs; roll-in and fully accessible showers with grab bars; and more maneuvering space for wheelchair turnarounds.

The 2400 sq. ft. home features four bedrooms, 2.5 baths, an office and a full walk-out basement. Four gentlemen currently receiving CRSI services will call this location home sometime in the fall.