An innovative campaign that brought together local home builders, tradespeople and suppliers to support college students raised $804,343 over the past five years. The total was announced Thursday night as the completion of the College Home project, a partnership between the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Lethbridge Region (CHBA) and Lethbridge College, was celebrated at the college.
Launched in 2013, the program involved CHBA builders working with suppliers and tradespeople to build homes that were showcased and sold. Each builder then made a donation from the proceeds of the sale to Lethbridge College. Eight homes were built over five years and the final combined donations surpassed the initial goal of $750,000.
“This project was the first of its kind in Canada and the final goal was incredibly ambitious,” says Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO. “It required dozens of businesses and individuals to share a vision and believe in the college. To see the successes accumulate over five years was inspiring and we are thankful for the support of the CHBA and its members.”
Proceeds from the sale of homes supported the construction of the 168,862 square foot, $77-million Trades, Technologies and Innovation Facility, which opened in September 2017. The facility houses programs that support the local construction industry, such as Engineering Design and Drafting Technology; Interior Design Technology; Welder, Electrician, Plumber and Carpenter apprenticeships; and more.
“This project is a testament to what can happen when like-minded individuals get together and create something meaningful,” says Mike Schmidtler, CHBA Lethbridge Region President. “Our industry requires advanced training that is adaptable and relevant. We are pleased we were able to partner with Lethbridge College to help create a facility that makes that training a reality right here in Lethbridge.”
Seven different home builders led builds over the course of the project. They are Ashcroft Master Builder (year one), Avonlea Homes (year two), Daytona Homes (year three), Empire Homes (year four), Galko Homes Master Building (year one), Signature Homes (year three) and Stranville Living (years two and five).
In addition, 147 suppliers and tradespeople contributed to the builds, including six that each contributed more than $30,000 worth of resources over the course of the project: All Weather Windows, Challenger Building Supplies, Exteriors by Leroy and Darcy Ltd., KB Heating and Air Conditioning, Kodiak Heating and Air Conditioning/Kodiak Plumbing and Gasfitting Ltd., and Neu-Lite.
“This was one of the most innovative projects we have ever been a part of,” says Keith Broadbent, KB Plumbing and Heating President. “Many of our employees have come through Lethbridge College and we have been involved in many construction projects on campus, so it made sense for us to support this cause.”
The CHBA – Lethbridge Region is a member-based non-profit organization incorporated in 1982 that strives to enhance the residential construction industry through local initiatives, partnerships, education and municipal lobbying activities.
Founded in 1957, Lethbridge College is Canada’s first publicly funded community college. Today, it offers more than 50 degree, diploma, certificate and apprenticeship programs.
LISTEN: Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO, speaks about the culmination of the successful College Home project: