Raise Me Up
In June of 2012, Niagara Catholic along with The City of Welland started discussions about the possibility of working together to utilize City owned infill lots that would allow Niagara Catholic students to complete full home builds.
For the past several years, the City of Welland had been trying to sell off 8 municipal infill lots located approximately 250 meters from Notre Dame College on Dufferin Street. As discussions took place, it became clear this development was not only a construction project, but truly a multi-sector Specialist High Skills Major Program. As details came together, Toscani Developments from Mount Hope who had worked with the City of Welland and throughout the Niagara Region on several residential projects, came forward eager to work with both the City of Welland and Niagara Catholic. A proposal was put forward to Welland City Council that Toscani Developments purchase the 8 building lots from the City, with Niagara Catholic retaining an interest in four of the eight lots. These four lots were to become our 'living classroom'.
In November of 2012, a new Program was developed for Lakeshore Catholic High School and Notre Dame College School where students were able to take a full day course focused on construction - two credits issued in construction and two credits cooperative education- to be delivered on site on Dufferin Street in Welland.
Raise Me Up 2013-14 saw our students construct a 1200 square foot home from start to finish alongside qualified and certified local trades.
Students worked with local industry leaders, getting the opportunity to be register as apprentices under the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program. To date, this program has brought together several partners including City of Welland, Freeman Contracting, DunRite Aluminum, Fonthill Building Supply, Sherk TimbrMart, Doig Excavating, Silver Creek Cabinets, Welland Plumbing, Feenstra Electric, Welland Equipment, Superior Drywall, Ballagio Painting, Parent Roofing, Nauta Home Designs, Atech Mechanical, Studio Tile, Star Tile, the list continues to grow.
Along with our construction sector partners, we also had Flett Beccarrio Law Office, ReMax, Caisse Populaire Welland, Mathews Cameron Surveyors, Business Education Council, Apprenticesearch.com, Liuna Training, Costello Consulting. These businesses such as Caisse Populaire Credit Union provided our Business SHSM students financial resources needed when planning, building, purchasing and financing a home. Students worked together with REMAX to develop sales and costing proposals and processes and legalities in buying, building and selling a home. Together with Nauta Design and Cameron Mathews, students learned engineering and surveying concepts - what it takes to develop a parcel of property, severance process and when you are able to dig. Our Environment students reviewed the advantages of building homes on in-fill lots rather than expanding urban boundaries - using existing infrastructure rather than adding new strains on existing systems. Our students - all sectors- were exposed to costing, building, financing, surveying, engineering and most importantly - giving back to the community.
Through Raise Me Up our Niagara Catholic students, whether building, costing, designing or serving a cooperative education placement are involved in a multi-million dollar development from start to finish. So exciting!