|May 14, 2008|
Habitat house complete; dedication set for Sunday
A family of seven will celebrate their new home Sunday, May 18, when the College and Habitat for Humanity of Schenectady County help dedicate the latest Habitat project.
Chip Miller ’09, front, and Gabe Kramer '09 joined fellow Psi Upsilon fraternity members in renovating the house.
President Stephen C. Ainlay and Jeffrey W. Clark, executive director of the local Habitat chapter, will be joined at the 1 p.m. dedication by Michael and Kelly Harris, and their five children - Sujea, 12, Sabrina, 9, Michael, Jr., 8, Isaiah, 8, and Samone, 3. The family had to complete 400 hours of “sweat equity” and a financial background check to qualify for the Habitat home.
The College donated the house at 1124 Barrett Street in Schenectady to the local Habitat chapter in 2006, and the campus community has worked since last fall to help refurbish it. Local Habitat officials said this is the first time that a college in the Capital Region has provided the property and the labor to Habitat.
The home was among 13 purchased by faculty and staff under the Union-Schenectady Initiative, an ambitious plan to revitalize the neighborhood just west of the campus.
Ainlay challenged the campus community to help restore the home, which is adjacent to the Turf at College Park Hall, as a way to re-cultivate its sense of social-connectedness and civic commitment.
Hundreds of volunteers, including members of athletic teams, Greek organizations, student groups, faculty, staff and administrators pitched in to renovate the house, built in 1910.
In a message to the campus community, Ainlay praised the campus community for their "extraordinary participation in this worthy cause" and invited them to attend the dedication.
"Once again, you have all confirmed my conviction that we have a keen understanding of our sense of social-connectedness and civic commitment," Ainlay said in his message.
Clark also thanked the College for their efforts.
Members of the women's rugby team were among various athletic teams to pitch in.
“People from Union joined Habitat for Humanity volunteers on a regular basis and learned a great deal not only about construction but also about the family,” Clark said. “They can be proud of their participation in this project.”
Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, nondenominational housing organization. Since 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses around the world, providing more than 1 million people in some 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter.