Last week, a Wayne County couple kicked off the rest of their lives together by buying their first home. That home was purchased from none other than Sampson Community College.
What becomes obvious is that the students and instructors in SCC’s Building Construction Technology Department really know what they’re doing. After all, the houses they build — six of which have already been sold to satisfied customers at a great deal — have to pass the same scrutiny and inspections as a house built anywhere else.
What might not be so obvious is how SCC’s home building project is even possible.
Typically, a person or entity would have to take out a loan to buy the materials to build a house. Sampson Community College cannot do this. Nor can SCC walk into a hardware store with cash to pay for all the materials and begin.
So where do the materials come from that provide so much hands-on experience to students and help the livelihood of house recipients,?
A partner. Thanks to arrangements made through the SCC Foundation and its executive director, Lisa Turlington, materials for each house are purchased from Sampson Building Supply and its owner, Rodney Grantham, by the Foundation piecemeal as the project moves along. No interest is charged to the college.
“We appreciate the generosity of Sampson Building Supply in working with the college to provide this valuable learning and training for our students,” says Turlington. “Without that partnership, it would be impossible to offer the true house building experience.”
Once each project is complete and a buyer pays SCC for their home, the college to pays for building materials after the fact. Typically, the figure that Sampson Building Supply entrusts to the college is about $25,000 for each house.
Dr. Paul Hutchins, who witnessed the latest home being driven off-campus , says, “This is another example of how Sampson Community College enriches our community. The construction of a home by our Building Construction Program students provides them with real world, hands-on experience and at the same time creates an opportunity for affordable housing for our community. The construction of these houses would not be possible without the great partnership we have with Sampson Building Supply.”
The Building and Construction Technology 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 seventh house is currently being constructed and plans for the eighth are already being planned for a fall start date. Thanks to SCC’s Facebook presence, there is already interest in these homes based on the success that the college has already had with buyers.
“We at the SCC Foundation celebrate the sale of our most recent house constructed on campus as a part of the Building Construction Technology Trades Program,” says Dr. Paul Viser, Board President of the SCC Foundation. “This exciting component of our work could not happen were it not for Sampson Building Supply. For years, they have supported our building program by providing materials, and then waiting six months or more to be paid when the completed house is sold. They essentially function as an interest-free bank by providing us with these extremely generous terms. Reliable and enthusiastic support like this is huge for our students, and also sets a great example for us on the Foundation. It is invigorating to see how our donors find creative ways to be part of our mission of service.”
For more information about the Building and Construction Technology program or how to purchase a home through the program, call 910-592-8081.