Students, past and present, collaborate to build eleventh home in Orchard View subdivision

Business News |May 25, 2018|2 min read

The community is invited to join Construction Trades students and staff from the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center (MACTC) for an open house at 2525 Chestnut Trail, Thursday, May 31 from 5 to 7 p.m. This home is the eleventh in the Chestnut Trail neighborhood built by Construction Trades students. Previous years’ homes will be marked by blue yard signs during the event.


This year’s house is approximately 2,100 sq. ft. The home, as well as those previous, has been built to EnergyStar standards. It features low-flow plumbing, a high efficiency heating and cooling system, spray foam insulation, and has basement walls constructed with insulated concrete forms for more comfortable, quiet, and energy-efficient living. Other features of the home include long lasting LED lighting, nine foot ceilings and hardwood floors on the main level, solid surface countertops, four bedrooms, two and a half baths, a deck with patio, and an over-sized two-stall garage.


“It’s been so cool to be able to see and take part in building such an amazing house,” shared Construction Trades student Skylar Wezell (Oakridge). “The teachers don’t treat you like kids in their classroom, but like workers on their team.”


Several former Construction Trades students, who now work in the industry, returned to help this year. Geoff Newmyer, of Newmyer Plumbing, returns every year to assist students with plumbing the home. Eric Shafer, of Elzinga & Volkers, spent time sharing pointers on drywall finishing with students. 2017 graduate, Kenneth Vandersteldt, who now works for painting contractor Creations by Brian, helped direct students on proper painting techniques.


Construction Trades student Kameron Nichols (Muskegon), who plans to pursue a career in construction, had this to say about his experience, “I really like how hands-on the class is and I love how supportive the teachers are. They stress the importance of being safe and responsible on the jobsite.”


Students from the Electrical/Computer Technologies program also worked alongside Construction Trades students. These students assisted with running low-voltage wires and installing structured cabling for internet, cable, and phone services.


The construction industry in West Michigan is booming! High school students interested in a career in construction may learn more about the program by visiting the Construction Trades page. Eighth graders can explore careers in construction too during Eighth Career Camp, June 18 to 21, 2018. Learn more at