WORCESTER YOUTHBUILD BLOG
The 2013 Worcester YouthBuild Program, operated by Training Resources of America, Inc. (TRA), currently has 12 participants working on two construction projects with two local non-profit organizations – Stone Soup and Matthew 25.
The Stone Soup Community Center is a volunteer-run umbrella organization that brings together various Worcester leadership development and organizing groups under one roof. Stone Soup has become an integral part of the King Street neighborhood in Main South, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Worcester, MA.
Worcester YouthBuild students are currently helping to rehab the three-story community center that has been vacant since two fires in 2009. The community center, which includes a low-income affordable housing unit, is being renovated in accordance with its historical appearance and is aiming for LEED certification.
At the Stone Soup site, YouthBuild students are involved in concrete, excavation, installing windows, doors and hardware, rough framing, weatherization – including insulation and air sealing, siding, roofing, finish work, Building Performance Training (BPI) training, and clean-up.
Matthew 25 is a private non-profit corporation whose mission is to provide food and housing relief to people in need. Matthew 25 purchases and renovates properties in Worcester and Boston, Massachusetts with the help of volunteers and community partners who donate their time and resources. Once construction is finished, Matthew 25 rents the refurbished homes to low-income families. Matthew 25 also provides food assistance to those in need.
Worcester YouthBuild students are currently helping to renovate a Matthew 25 property with three housing units located at 3 Benefit Terrace in Worcester, MA. YouthBuild students are involved in framing and sheathing 2 10′-6″dormers on third floor, installing interior framing throughout house, demolishing remaining clap-boards, re-nailing off exterior sheathing, installing pump jacks and/or bracket staging, installing exterior 2″ foam insulation board, air sealing, strapping nailer’s for siding, installing windows, doors, trim and cementitious clap-boards, and installing interior trim and flooring, interior doors, counter-tops and cabinets.
Both projects are providing incredible learning opportunities for the Worcester YouthBuild students and support green building initiatives. Among the many green building techniques utilized in these projects, participants have acquired knowledge of Cel-Pak Cellulose and Dense Pack Insulation, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Engineered Lumber, and how the expansion/ increased thickness of exterior walls allow for more insulation, thus conserving energy in heating and cooling homes.