Members of the SIUE Constructor’s Club volunteered their time building houses in Florida during the University’s spring break. Pictured here are the SIUE volunteers, along with core volunteers from Habitat for Humanity and the homeowner.EDWARDSVILLE - Members of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering’s Constructor’s Club used their building skills and knowledge to make a positive impact on families in need over spring break.

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Thirteen students partnered with Habitat for Humanity to volunteer their time in Walton County, Florida from March 8-15. This marked the fifth consecutive year the SIUE Constructor’s Club has visited the area to build houses during the University’s spring break.

While there, the students set trusses, laid decking, felted the roof, and hung siding, soffit and facia. They also attached hurricane clips and assisted with interior electrical and plumbing finishes.

“As a group, this experience opened our eyes, and gave us an opportunity to learn general construction processes and the importance of working with others, even people we’ve just met,” said Constructor’s Club President Kyle Vahling, a senior construction management major from Newton. “Giving our time to someone who has experienced an unfortunate event is incredibly gratifying. We plan to continue our volunteer work in Florida and in the local community.”

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Participating students included Vahling, Elizabeth Green, of Morrison, Brittney Koter, of Chicago, Collin Jansen, of Green Creek, Austin Mattingly, of Marshall, Julia Michael, of Fairview Heights, Will Zerr, of St. Charles, Mo., Jakob Kunkel, of Rushville, Adam Sullivan, of Palmer, Michael Vester, of O’Fallon, Mo., Mathew Weber and Kyle Hardiek, of Teutopolis, and Chris Donovan, of Columbia.

“This community outreach effort has become a tradition for our club,” Vahling said. “The Habitat Group takes great care of us while we are in Florida. We always strive to repay their kindness by doing the best work we can during our visit.”

The SIUE Constructor’s Club has been regularly recognized for its community service contributions. It has received multiple leadership awards from SIUE’s Kimmel Student Involvement Center. It has also been recognized via the Associated General Contractors Outstanding Student Chapter Contest.

The SIUE School of Engineering offers one of the most comprehensive and affordable engineering programs in the St. Louis region with eight undergraduate degrees, five master’s degrees and a cooperative doctoral program. Students learn from expert faculty, perform cutting-edge research, and participate in intercollegiate design competitions. Companies in the metropolitan St. Louis area provide students challenging internships and co-op opportunities, which often turn into permanent employment. Students gain hands-on experience in the School’s state-of-the-art facilities, including the new Fowler Student Design Center.

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