Jun 25, 2019
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A shelter constructed by Fresno State engineering and interior design students in collaboration with local construction firms. The shelter will be donated to the Poverello House charity foundation. (Larry Valenzuela/ The Collegian)

Construction management students build shelter for Poverello House

The official ribbon-cutting ceremony for a 100-square-foot shelter built by Fresno State students was held Friday in Lot 21.

Students from the Lyles College of Engineering and Interior Design students from the College of Arts and Humanities partnered with Fresno construction businesses to construct and donate the shelter to the Poverello House charity organization.

The shelter is a prototype for a series of shelters designed to replace the existing structures that the charity currently uses.

The shelter features a geometric roof designed to withstand all types of weather. The shelter also features a sliding glass door and windows in the back. According to a university news release, each component of the structure was designed to be durable and long-lasting.   

Three of the four students who handled the constriction of the house and two interior design students who helped design the inside of the structure attended the event. Also present were representatives from construction-related companies Webcor and Borga, who, along with Valley Iron, donated money and materials to the project.

Brad Hyatt, chair of construction management for Lyles College of Engineering, welcomed those in attendance before speaker Dr. Vivien Luo, associate professor of construction management, noted all the people who were involved in the project.

Renowned architect Arthur Dyson also spoke, commenting on the unusually chilly weather and saying that there are some people in this community who don’t have classrooms and homes to go back to.

“We’ll leave this meeting here, and we’ll go back to our classrooms. We’ll go back to our offices. We’ll go back to our homes. There are people in this community that don’t have the ability to go back to any of those, and that’s what this building is for,” Dyson said.

Certificates were awarded by City of Fresno Council member Paul Caprioglio. Each individual involved in the project received a certificate and a handshake from the council member.

Cruz Avila, chief executive officer of the Poverello House, expressed his gratitude and noted the benefits that the structure would offer those in need.  

“Everybody that laid a hand on it, that put a hammer to it, whatever the case may be,” said Avila. “All the work and effort that went into this, know that one, two, three, all the way up to 72 individuals that rotate through services at that point and have a bed who will be able to use this blessing behind us and be able to call it a home.”

The final speaker of the afternoon was Fresno State first lady Mary Castro. She echoed the previous sentiments by once again thanking all the contributors for their hard work, and said that the structure would be a “starting point.”

The afternoon ended with the official ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Castro and a photo opportunity with the contributors.

Nick Wicks, a construction management student, was one of the four students who worked on the project. Wicks built most of the roof and helped manage the project.

Wicks said that he wished the team was able to communicate better but thinks the project “came out great.” Wicks also said that he would be interested in doing more projects like it in the future and was happy with the ultimate destination of the shelter.

“I think it’s great where it’s going – I think it’s a great cause,” Wicks said.

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