UT Tyler class is building Habitat for Humanity home

Every half-hour somewhere in the world, a new Habitat For Humanity home is completed. Habitat teams with people across East Texas. Now add UT Tyler to the list.

KLTV 7's Danielle Capper went to a job site today where the partnership kicked off as a class requirement.

"We decided we were going to do this last February," said Thomas Browning.

They're juniors and seniors at UT Tyler all part of the construction management program a program just a year old.

"Reading books and doing research at the library is greatly enhanced by having the opportunity to be out on a real job site," said Dr. John Martin.

Professor and program coordinator Dr. John Martin says that's why the construction of this Habitat House is now part of the curriculum.

"At UT Tyler construction management program, every class, these student takes they have to perform 20 hours of community service for each 3 hour class," said Dr. Martin.

As part of those hours, the first UT Tyler build is the site.

"To have a chance to really manage something. The students that are here are actually building today but they are the project managers for this project," said Dr. Martin.

"We actually built all these walls in their warehouse on Front Street," said Browning. "The hands-on experience definitely makes the book side of it make a lot more sense."

So from the classroom to construction site these students are hard at work, not just for them but the entire UT Tyler community.

"I've helped advertise and tried to get volunteers to come out here and we've set up athletic teams and fraternities and sororities that want to help and do community service. It's nice to make a little bit of a difference," said Browning.

With day one down, they say this house is just the beginning of a partnership all hope lasts years to come.

They hope to have the home done by Thanksgiving. It's cosponsored by Carrier, who contributed to the funding. Next year, the students may be required to go out into the community and raise the money themselves for the next house.

Danielle Capper, reporting. dcapper@kltv.com