116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The second home in Marion to be renovated by Marion Independent and Linn-Mar students is underway with the new school year after the successful completion and sale of the first Marion Community Build home this summer.
The Marion Community Build, a partnership home rehabilitation program with the City of Marion, the two school districts and MEDCO, purchased its second home at 2095 Third Ave. in Marion after selling its first home at 330 Eighth Ave.
“It will be a new and fun challenge,” Project Manager for MEDCO Dustin Kern said. “Much different than the home on Eighth Ave.”
Just like last time, students from the two districts will work together with teacher Dennis Fleege to remodel the house. This time, however, the students also will be building a brand-new garage after tearing down the old garage earlier this month.
“We also want the kids to be part of the planning process more this year, giving them the opportunity to provide input and see how you get to a certain point,” MEDCO President Nick Glew said.
Bryce Bunting, a senior from Marion, said he’s enjoyed taking the class and working on the project.
The students work on the house nearly every day for about half of the school day.
“I was picking my classes with the counselor and I saw this class and thought it’s better than normal school,” Bunting said. “It’s actually a lot of fun here.”
Bunting mentioned that taking down the old garage has been a highlight of the class so far.
“We started knocking it down with an ax,” he said. “After it was unstable, we got out of the way and pulled it down with someone’s truck.”
Glew said that while the home renovations are an opportunity for students to learn about various trades, the projects also present an opportunity to invest in Marion neighborhoods and provide affordable housing.
“That’s really the beauty about what we’re doing,” Glew said. “It shows a community what reinvesting in a neighborhood might do. There are probably endless opportunities for us to do this around town, but we probably won’t ever do more than one at a time.”
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