Wayne State students, community members build home together


Wayne Area Habitat for Humanity is building its fifth house in Wayne, and this year WSC students are learning, and helping more with the building process than they had before.

“This is our fifth house in town, and I worked on all of the other four houses. Students have been involved on several builds, but on this one we are trying to have them take over a bit more of the load, so we are having them working on the footing and foundation system this semester,” Technology and Applied Sciences Assistant Professor Don Buryanek said.

There is a Habitat for Humanity branch in Wayne -- it is an affiliation of the Norfolk Habitat for Humanity, Buryanek said. He also explained that a class at WSC is bringing in students to help on the housing project, but more people are welcome to join and lend a hand.

“Right now, the college class is just one class -- it’s a construction class. But, if any college students want to be involved, they don’t have to be in the class,” Buryanek said. “They can come down, usually on Saturdays, but there are other days that we work too. If there are college students or people in the community that want to help, we welcome the help, and they don’t have to be skilled laborers.”

The WSC class is currently working on the footing and foundation of the house this semester. They are working on insulated concrete forms, which Buryanek explained as two inches of foam, eight inches of space, and then another two inches of foam. This is then pumped full of cement.

Next semester Buryanek hopes for the students to be involved in building the walls, errecting the walls and placing windows, as well as the building process as a whole.

Wayne State College senior Devan Collins and sophomore Jacob Henderson both are participating in this project and agree that it is helping them grow and it’s good for the community.  

“One of the requirements here at Wayne State College is you have to take a construction class and you have to take the managing class,” Collins said.

Collins had worked construction back home and is glad to be working on bigger projects now at WSC. Collins is working as the project manager and Henderson is working on this as a project for class.

“I’ve done other projects but I’ve never done a basement and footings before, so this is new to me,” Henderson said.

Prior to this, Henderson had worked on roofing and tiling. Both students emphasized that they had learned from this project, such as learning about different types of products to use in construction. Collins and Henderson also agreed that it’s nice to work on a big project and that it’s great to help out and do something good for the community.

“It’s a very interesting project and it’s nice to be able to volunteer the time for the community,” Collins said. “I try to be involved in the community as much as possible, I work at Sand Creek Post & Beam here in Wayne. It’s kind of nice helping other people out with it.”

Collins also talked about how after he graduates, he can come back, look at this house, and know he helped a family out.

“It does feel good to kind of volunteer time. Volunteering your time and hearing about all of the people that will donate to [the house] is kind of cool,” Henderson said.

The current home Habitat for Humanity is helping build is located at 319 South Nebraska Street and anyone wishing to help in the project is welcome.