Crosstown rival come together to build a home - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Crosstown rival come together to build a home

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GREAT FALLS -

The two schools (CMR & GFH) are collaborating on one home, with students from both high schools contributing their talents to construction under the guidance of teacher Pete Pace for what they call " Neighbors helping Neighbors.   The students start from scratch, building the foundation and working on both the interior and exterior of the home, including landscaping with sod towards the end of the project.   Other classes become involved to paint, plan the interior and choose colors.  It all began 20 years ago with this partnership and has since grown to 40 houses in collaboration with NeighborWorks. 

Shelia Rice, Retired NeighborhoodWorks GF, said “The High School House is a win-win-win-win-win-win project.  The students win because they gain construction skills in a real-life setting.  The school district wins because kids stay in school and graduate.  The neighborhood wins because a new home replaces a blighted property.  The City wins because the new home produces property taxes to support fire, police and many other city services.   The family that purchases the home wins because the home is affordable to their budget.  NeighborWorks Great Falls wins because the high school house project furthers our mission of rebuilding neighborhoods, creating homeownership opportunities and developing quality homes.”  

Pete Pace, a GFH Teacher, said “NeighborWorks Great Falls joined forces with Great Falls public schools and the city to create the program in 1997-98, which provides new homes for residents with low or moderate incomes and gives high school students valuable employment skills. In the past 20 years, students from the Great Falls and C. M. Russell high schools have built 39 homes and is currently building number 40. The GFPS students provide the labor while the city contributes community development block grant funding. NWGF supplies the lot, arranges subcontractors and finances the construction.  This is a great opportunity for students to learn a trade and help their community in their junior or senior year of high school.”

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