The modern three-bedroom home, built entirely by the students of the Seminole Ridge High (SRCH) School Construction Academy for Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County, now sits quietly in its new neighborhood in Westgate. After many months of planning, preparing, drilling, electrical and plumbing work, the house is ready for its excited new owners, Tina Cromatie and her family.
The work was wrapped up within the daylight hours of November 14 when the four (4) modules for the 1,206 square foot house were lifted, transported on flat bed trailers and set gently down onto the foundation. As soon as the house modules were set and secured, the six (6) pre-assembled roof segments were lifted into place.
“With some tugging and pushing and applying some muscle to the modules, the team got everything pulled together. Everything was built as close to perfection as is possible in construction,” says David Porter, local architect and project manager.
At the property, Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County staff and volunteers are making all final electrical and plumbing connections and installing the siding and roof shingles. The project, which had numerous partners, has even involved other schools. The Royal Palm Beach High School Air Conditioning Academy has been working with EDS Air Conditioning Contractors to install all of the ductwork and the air conditioning systems. Habitat will build the front porch and the attached rear shed on-site. “This project was the ideal educational experience in that it incorporated academics, collaboration, on the job training, business partnerships, community involvement, social awareness, sense of achievement, and pride in a job well done,” said James Campbell, SRCH Principal.
The Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, a division of the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) College of Education, has prepared an all-native landscape plan for the property, and they will work with the Florida Native Plants Society (Palm Beach chapter), the house’s owner and Habitat volunteers to landscape the property.
David Porter noted, “I grew up in the home construction business and was building houses and doing all of the same things the Construction Academy students have done at that same age. So, I had some historic reality to reflect upon for what to expect out of the students. I was overwhelmed with emotion yesterday when I saw the fruits of their learning, education, experience, and efforts drop so perfectly into place when the modules and roofs were set.”
The deserving owner, selected by Habitat for this property, is Tina Cromatie and her family. Ms. Cromatie is a remarkable woman who, by life’s unfortunate circumstances, is now caring for her deceased twin sister’s two severely handicapped, wheelchair-bound sons. She serves in the new role of “mom” while holding down a full-time job at a local hospital.
“Seminole Ridge Community High School is proud to have been a part of such a tremendous undertaking and looks forward to starting our next project with Habitat for Humanity in December,” added Mr. Campbell.
“Our partnership with Seminole Ridge High School and its Construction Academy has been a great opportunity for our organization to provide another simple, decent and affordable home for a hard working family in Palm Beach County,” stated Bernard Godek, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County. “But more importantly, it has given hundreds of students an opportunity to gain knowledge and learn skills that will help them better themselves after high school – whether that be through the state university system, the community college system, through local trade organizations, or through local job opportunities.”
The project has been documented from beginning to end, including through a dedicated website, The Education Network documentary, photographs, school and district public relations and media coverage.
To see more photos and read about this amazing project from start to finish, please visit www.seminoleridgehabitathouse.com
Click here to see a video from the Palm Beach Post about the house being put in place.
Click here to see a video produced by TEN about the project
About Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County
Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County is a non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of sub-standard housing by building simple, decent, safe, affordable houses for low income, hardworking qualified families in partnership with God, community volunteers and local organizations. Each Habitat partner family is required to invest a minimum of 500 sweat equity hours of their own labor into the construction of homes before being eligible to purchase their home utilizing a 30-year, no-profit, no-interest loan. The affiliate’s service area extends from Hypoluxo Road in the south to the Martin County line in the north, and from Palm Beach to Lake Okeechobee.