March 28, 1997
Students, Staff to Build Habitat House
In what may be the first such effort on an American college campus, students, faculty and staff volunteers at UW-River Falls will begin constructing a house for Habitat for Humanity.
From April 21-26, the parking lot of Historic South Hall will become a construction site as work begins on building the exterior walls for a two-bedroom ranch house. At completion, the walls will be transported to donated land in Ellsworth.
Some 70 students are members of the UW-RF chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Founded by former President Jimmy Carter, Habitat encourages the construction or renovation of housing for needy families. Those families are able to purchase the residence through no-interest loans, with an investment of their "sweat equity" in finishing the house.
The UW-RF project is being coordinated by Roy Heflin of the St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity. Heflin also serves as director of Lutheran Christian Education and Lutheran Campus Ministries, which is a member of the River Falls combined Ecumenical Campus Ministries. Also participating in the project from the ministries are the Newman Center, the United Ministries of Higher Education, and the Lutheran Student Movement.
During the raising, from 1-5 p.m. each of the days, UW-RF campus community volunteers will construct 2x6 exterior walls, cover them with sheathing and erect them.
A dedication ceremony will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 26. Heflin hopes a family from Ellsworth will be selected by that time and introduced.
The walls sections will then separated and transported to Ellsworth.
Fundraisers will be held on campus in April to help finance the project, with each donation of $5 purchasing a 2x6, and each $2 purchasing a box of nails. Construction materials also can be donated directly by calling Habitat member Eugene Isherwood of River Falls at 715/426-0462.
"My dream is that this will be a precedent and that it will inspire other campuses around the United States to do the same thing," Heflin said.
For more information or to volunteer, contact Heflin at 715/425-2683, or campus Habitat faculty adviser Nancy Parlin at 715/425-3260.