UW News

October 30, 2003

Students learn in real world while benefiting elderly Seattleite

Eric Ragde advanced his UW education a couple of weekends ago, without getting anywhere near campus, turning on the computer or cracking a book.

Instead, Ragde and 11 other UW construction management students repaired the Central District home of 89-year-old Annie David, getting it in good enough shape to allow her to continue to live independently.

“It enabled us to take what we learn in the classroom and apply it to a real situation,” Ragde said. “And, most important, it helped someone who really needed assistance.”

The David home was identified by the nonprofit group Rebuilding Together. The UW students organized the repair project, divvying up tasks and soliciting donated materials from companies that included Cadman Sand and Gravel, Walsh Construction and Brundage-Bone.

The student volunteers started on Friday by removing concrete from Davis’ old driveway to make way for a new walkway that they formed and laid on Saturday. On Sunday, a group of youngsters from Holy Rosary School in Edmonds helped to strip the forms and clean up.

“This is great experience for our students,” said John Schaufelberger, chairman of construction management, which is part of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning. “Figuring out how to manage a project is exactly what we’re trying to teach them.”

The Davis home was one of six in the area rebuilt in October under the auspices of Rebuilding Together Seattle.

The UW’s Associated Students in Construction, along with the local chapter of the discipline’s honor society, Sigma Lambda Chi, plan to take an even larger role in an upcoming Rebuilding Day 2004 next April.