LCC students at the Center for Manufacturing Excellence learn by doing. The Design and Construction Technologies program is comprised of classroom instruction where students are taught about materials, plans, processes, and procedures; and hands-on experience in the lab where students hone their skills by using tools and materials essential to constructing single and multi-family homes, and commercial buildings.
They learn from seasoned instructors with decades of experience in construction techniques and processes. Jim Lynch Director of the Trades and Technologies Program at LCC’s West Campus says the students learn by doing. “We build things, we pour concrete, we lay block and our students build small buildings and parts of buildings using a variety of materials and techniques.”
As with any construction project there are materials left over. Lynch says that they recycle as much as possible, tearing apart what they have built and reusing what they can. “Even with this reuse, recycle method at some point materials end up in the dumpster. They no longer meet classroom needs if they are too small, too irregular, or overused.”
Lynch knew there had to be a way to make use of what his students could no longer use. This was the driving force that led to a partnership with the Lansing Area Humane Society. They need shelters for the dogs they care for, and it just so happens that those too small, too irregular, and overused pieces of building materials can still work for tiny houses; houses that fit our furry friends.
“The Ingham County Animal Control Dog House Program is our way of helping pet owners with outside dogs through the winter”, said Kate Turner Ingham County Animal Control Customer Service and Community Outreach Manager. “Unfortunately, this year going into fall we didn’t have any dog houses to start the season with. It was a huge relief to hear from the LCC construction lab department that they were willing to assist us.”
“This is great for our students and great for the animals,” Lynch said. “Our students get to practice the skills they are learning in class and at the same time get the satisfaction of knowing that what they built will not be torn apart but will serve a purpose for years to come.