Chico State students build homes for the Salvation Army


CHICO, Calif. - Chico State students, Chico construction leaders along with other community volunteers are spending their spring break building transitional housing for the Salvation Army.

It's a hive of activity on the corner of 8th and Salem Streets as dozens of engineering, computer science and construction students join other volunteers at the site of the 2014 Chico State Blitz Build.

They're teaming up with the Salvation Army to erect two 1,600 square-foot duplexes for the Ann and Emmett Skinner Transitional Living Program.

The spaces will be used by families in need while they get their feet on the ground.

Salvation Army Envoy Tanwnya Stumpf said it's a great effort.

"Well not only are we grateful but I think it's an opportunity for them to give back," Stumpf said. "They do take time out of their schedule. Instead of taking it off after exams, they're here giving back to the community."

An Industry Advisory Board made up of prominent area builders from Conway Construction, Slater and Sons and Modern Building have been advising the student leaders throughout the project and offering workshops to students on a variety of construction issues.

For project manager Emma Caswell and her fellow students, getting their hands dirty gives them crucial hand on experience

"It's crazy how much you learn on the field rather than in the classroom," Caswell said.

For 16 hours a day through next Sunday rotating teams will be pounding out the project, giving their precious time while most everyone else rests on spring break.

Caswell said it's a rewarding endeavor.

"I know the families that are going to be living here are going to appreciate it so much, and knowing that I'm one of the people that helped put them in those houses is going to be a great feeling," she said.

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