10:08 AM

Mohawk College launching Community Builders Project, 100+ students to renovate North End community centre servery

Mohawk College professor Brad MacDonald will get a helping hand when he returns with 100 students to renovate a community centre in Hamilton’s north end during March Break.

Students and faculty from Mohawk’s McKeil School of Business and Mohawk’s Graphic Design Production program will join forces with MacDonald and his Building Renovation and Carpentry Apprenticeship students to launch the Mohawk College Community Builders Project. The first annual project will have the students and faculty renovate the servery at St. Peter’s HARRRP Community Centre on Main Street East.

Approximately 100 Building Renovation and Carpentry Apprenticeship students will renovate the community centre’s servery and chancel in early March.  To support the renovations, students from the McKeil School of Business Financial Services program will solicit sponsorships and gifts-in-kind, the School’s Event Management students will organize a community celebration and donor appreciation event while Graphic Design students will produce promotional materials for the project.

MacDonald has incorporated a week-long community renovation project into his program for the past three years. “Students get hands-on learning and they get to help build a stronger community,” says MacDonald, who got his students involved at St. Peter’s HARRRP this past March. 

During the 2011 Mohawk President’s Breakfast, MacDonald received a $5,000 MaryLynn West-Moynes Grant for Inspiring Learning, Leadership and Citizenship to support the Mohawk Community Builders Project. Students will replace flooring, cabinets and counters and install an island in the community centre’ servery and complete renovations in the former chancel (the space around the altar for clergy and the choir). The wish list for appliances in the servery includes a commercial dishwasher, two electric stoves, two microwaves and two refrigerators.

HARRRP Executive Director Rev. Sue-Ann Ward says the renovated servery will support North Hamilton neighbours and community groups who meet free-of-charge at the community centre. St. Peter’s HARRRP is open for 12 hours a day and six days of the week.

“Our new servery will be well used by many neighbors,” says Ward. “The servery will be used to prepare after-school snacks for children from the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre, treats for seniors after their Tai Chi lessons and cups of tea for members of the Muslim Women’s Committee. Our new servery will make our centre an even more welcoming place for all of our partners to gather and create healthy and vibrant communities.”

To support the Mohawk Community Builders Project at St. Peter’s HARRRP, contact Financial Services professor Christine DiCarlo at 905.575.1212 ext. 3619.

Online applications will be accepted later this Spring from nonprofits interested in working with students and faculty on the 2013 Mohawk College Community Builders Project.

Mohawk College delivers a quality education to 12,000 full-time and 4,000 apprenticeship students and 42,000 continuing education registrants. In the Ontario government’s latest key performance indicator survey, Mohawk finished first among all colleges in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area for quality of learning and programs, services and facilities and overall student and graduate satisfaction.

HARRRP is a non-profit charitable organization that runs community centres in specific Hamilton neighbourhoods that provide free programs and services to help residents deal with the impact of poverty and other challenges.  The north-end neighbourhoods served by HARRRP are “at-risk” in terms of income, health, school graduation, crime, housing, food security and all of the other usual yardsticks.