GLTS Students Build Home in Lawrence to Sharpen Their Technical Skills

ANDOVER —  Superintendent John Lavoie is pleased to announce that nearly 100 GLTS students are busy constructing a house as part of the school’s building program.

Carpentry, electrical and plumbing students are currently on site at 47 Norris St. in Lawrence making progress on the construction of a two-story wood frame home.

The annual project is made possible through a partnership with the Greater Lawrence Revolving Loan Fund, which since 1973 has provided GLTS the necessary upfront money to purchase lots and acquire building materials.

Following completion of the project, the home sells for market value and profits are used to purchase a piece of land for the following year.

“What’s beneficial about this project is that it gives our students the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills in the real world,” Superintendent Lavoie said. “By the time they graduate, they have experience in the field that they can use in their post secondary education or career.”

During the chilly morning hours of Jan. 29, one group of carpentry students were laying plywood on the roof, while others stayed on the ground building a wall that would be used to install the home’s electrical panel.

“When we first started building everything, it was my first time out working on a house,” said junior carpentry student Reymi Vargas, of Lawrence. “It was cool experiencing everything behind the scenes.”

“My favorite part of this project so far was lifting up the rafters and attaching them to the house,” added junior carpentry student Adelina Vargas, of Lawrence. “We had to use harnesses to be pulled up to the appropriate height. It was a good experience.”

Inside the home, down in the basement, senior electrical students were rough wiring the home, installing temporary lights and running a wire to the sump pump. Once the windows are installed in a couple weeks, the pace of the electrical work will accelerate dramatically.

“This is a great experience for students,” electrical instructor Charlie Kennedy said. “They’re learning real world skills and how to work with different trades — it’s all part of the job and all things a contractor would do.”


On the second floor, junior plumbing students were focused on drilling a 2-inch hole a through the exterior wall plate that will be used to install a vent for the first floor bathroom fixtures.

Junior plumbing student Josh Small, of Methuen, said he’s enjoyed getting to put his technical skills to use over the last few months.

“You get to learn and make mistakes and better ourselves for going out on co-op,” he added.

In the coming months, additional students from the HVAC and Horticulture and Landscape programs will contribute to the project. Work first began in November and the home is expected to go on the market sometime this spring.

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