Any time you can foster an idea that provides a win-win scenario all the way around, you build on it. And that’s exactly what Barney Grady and his students will do.
Grady serves as the department chair for the Building and Construction Trades department at Sampson Community College. The program, established in 2004, was designed to meet the construction needs for Sampson and surrounding counties. The program provides students with both the hands on aspects as well as the management side of construction. With courses like blue print reading, estimating, and building codes, students are prepared for all phases of the construction process. The list of available electives allows SCC to customize a plan that works for almost any student.
The tremendous building that houses the program has two large hangar-type doors so buyers can easily remove completed houses. Grady is proud of his students.
“Graduates are working in many areas of construction to include general contractors, managing their own business, construction superintendents, foreman, code enforcement officers, DOT inspector, and instructors,” he says. “We have a transfer agreement with ECU (East Carolina University) that enables students to complete their first two years and transfer as juniors in the Construction Management Program. We have had several graduates take advantage of this opportunity and have two transferring next fall.”
In 2006, the Sampson Community College Foundation partnered with Sampson Building Supply to fund housing projects that would not only present students a future career but also use the finished product to provide an affordable alternative for home buyers to get a brand new house for a significantly reduced cost.
“The partnership with Sampson Building Supply made the program feasible,” said SCC Foundation director Lisa Turlington. “Because of their understanding and relationship with the Foundation, for our students are able to gain practical experience and valuable skills needed for success in the construction industry.”
The sixth home was just completed and is now for sale and expectations are so high that the college has already started building a seventh home out on the campus lawn. At a mere $55,000, the completed home is a great value. As soon as the home is sold, Grady and his students will begin another home inside the large indoor construction facility even while house No. 7 finishes work.
“A key component of the program is the building a new house from the planning stages to the final finishing touches each academic year,” says SCC President Dr. Paul Hutchins. “The SCC Foundation plays an important support role by providing the fiscal management for the building costs and making payments for building supplies and sub-contractors. I am grateful for this partnership and the learning opportunities and real world experience that the construction of a house provides to our students.”
The current home for sale features full plumbing, heating and air conditioning. The home is 1,350 square feet and boasts three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an open floor plan, popular among today’s buyers. It also includes energy efficient windows, cabinets, all plumbing and electrical fixtures. SCC’s homes have to pass all the same inspections as homes built anywhere else so professional quality is ensured.
“When the house project started, the late Michael Gore was serving on the Foundation Board of Directors and was involved in the oversight of the project,” said Turlington. “His family continues to support students in the program by funding the Gore Building Construction Scholarship.”
When you find a win-win scenario, you build on that.