Penn State Intercom......October 24, 2002

House going up with
student design and labor

habitat5Students are helping to fill the fall air with the sound of hammers and saws on Cherry Street in Port Matilda so that a deserving local family will have a new home to stay warm in soon.

In the spirit of service learning, volunteer students from a variety of academic disciplines raised the funds for, designed and are building one of the two new Habitat for Humanity houses that are going up side-by-side in the small Centre County town. Port Matilda lies about 10 miles northwest of State College on one of the main routes leading to the University Park campus.

The project marks the first such effort by the Penn State chapter of Habitat for Humanity, a national, nonprofit organization devoted to helping people with financial need build affordable houses. The students raised $40,000 in less than two years to pay for the materials and other considerations needed to bring a family's dream of owning a home to reality. The family is working with the students on site on a "sweat equity" basis that should amount to between 300 and 500 hours of labor, and will pay for the house through a long-term, no-interest loan.

The overall effort is in partnership with the local Tri-County Habitat for Humanity, which donated the land and is providing guidance for the Penn State-sponsored house while its own affiliate members work on the other new house for another family next door.

For more information about the Penn State chapter of Habitat for Humanity, visit or contact faculty adviser Linda M. Collins at or student Christy Zabrodski at

For more photos from the construction site, click here.