Associated General Contractors –Iowa State Chapter gives time to build homes in West Virginia

Members of AGC gather at the entrance to Hope Village in West Virginia. <i> Photos courtesy Nathan Pals. </i>
Members of AGC gather at the entrance to Hope Village in West Virginia. Photos courtesy Nathan Pals.

Students take days during fall break to build housing for those devastated by flooding

When you think about the act of volunteering, does the word “connections” come to mind? It does for Alex Stadtmueller.

“It connects you to different communities,” Stadtmueller, who is a freshman in construction engineering, says.

Stadtmueller was one of nearly 50 students to travel to Hope Village, a long-term disaster recovery site near White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, during Iowa State University’s (ISU) fall break this year.

The students who take part in these volunteer trips are members of ISU Associated General Contractors (AGC). Each fall and spring break, their goal is to do as much good as possible in four days of hard-core service.

While in West Virginia, students worked with the Appalachia Service Project (ASP) to build houses from the ground up for seven different families. In doing so, the group gave a total of 2,100 hours in volunteer service.

Members work on the exterior of a house during the second work day.
Members work on the exterior of a house during the second work day.

Stadtmueller was a novice to the AGC service project this break, but he plans to make a tradition out of the newfound experience. The 11-hour days are great for getting houses built and making friends of fellow AGC members.

“You learn more about who they are as an individual … you learn their morals, what they like, and interests that you all share,”he says.

This will be the second trip on which Garret Jensen, a sophomore also studying construction engineering, has gone. Just like Stadtmueller, Jensen experiences “the family atmosphere” every time he climbs in the van for an AGC volunteer trip.

Interior work begins for student volunteers.
Interior work begins for student volunteers.

“It’s special to know that we have so much and that giving a small part of our time can make a huge difference for someone else,”says Jensen.

ISU AGC is advised by Senior Lecturer Larry Cormicle. The organization is currently planning a volunteer trip to Austin, Texas, during the spring 2018 break.


Find out more about student groups like AGC, including upcoming break opportunities, by following Iowa State University’s Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering Department on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (Iowa State University Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering and ISUConE).

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