Students Spend Spring Break Building 100th Habitat For Humanity Home

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FORT SMITH (KFSM)- While many students around the country are spending their spring breaks at the beach, others are traveling to our area to help build a Habitat For Humanity home.

"I think it's a really cool experience because it's so different," Ashland University student Lauren Brown said. "It's not very often you'll have an opportunity for a week and build on a house. Once you're out of college, going to the beach is something you can do anytime, but coming and building a house is something unique."

The students started with a concrete slab, learning the process of building a home from the ground up.

"When we got here, we just had a blank slab with lines draw where the walls are supposed to go," Villanova University student Drew Martin said. "We spent the day building the walls."

"Over the next couple of days, we built the rest of the walls, stood them up, and framed the entire inside," Brown said.

For many of these students, this isn't the first time they've helped build a Habitat house.

"This is actually my third Habitat trip and fifth mission trip overall," Martin said. "It's very rewarding to see a house go up from the ground up and experience new parts of the country that you may have not ever ventured to before."

The students said staying focused is key in the process of turning lumber into a happy home.

"It's not always easy hammering in a nail one at a time," Martin said. "It's always gonna bend, sometimes it's gonna hit a knot; really being able to have that patience, but also paying attention to detail to make sure you get all the lines straight. This is going to be someone's house and making sure that it's perfect and putting that effort in is really important."

The next round of college students to help with the house include Illinois Wesleyan University, Elmhurst College and the United States Air Force Academy.

The house should be complete by the end of the month.

For more information about the Collegiate Challenge or how you can volunteer to help build a home, visit the Habitat For Humanity website.