Habitat for Humanity opens first home in Botetourt County, with help from local students

Habitat for Humanity is working on its first home in Botetourt County.

BUCHANAN, Va. – A labor of love for Botetourt County students has found its place on 4th Street in Buchanan.

The home is the first Habitat for Humanity home in Botetourt County. It was built in partnership with the Botetourt Technical Education Center and the Botetourt County Public Schools Education Foundation.

"Just about three years ago, BTEC reached out to us and asked if we'd like to collaborate. There was that great opportunity that we had been waiting for, so we're delighted to be expanding our footprint and to be partnering with the good folks in Botetourt County," says Jenny Lee, development director for Habitat of the Roanoke Valley.

Students at BTEC, with guidance from building trades instructor Phillip Simmons, built the three-bedroom, two-bath home to the point where it could be transported to Buchanan.

"All the work here, the framing, the electrical, plumbing, siding, roofing--all the work is student work," says Simmons. 

Simmons says the students were immediately on board for the project...a chance to learn and to leave a lasting impact in a community.

"It's the way we teach the students to learn about the construction industry and it gives them some hands-on experience that they can take out in the workforce and use," says Simmons. 

The new homeowners, Daniel and Ashley Albright and their two kids will hopefully be moved in before the end of October, once Habitat finishes construction. The Albrights will attend required classes that will teach them how to manage their finances and how to keep up with home maintenance. They will pay a no-profit, no-interest mortgage to Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley, and their payments will be "paid forward" to build the next Habitat home.