A group of 14 students from Loyalist College's Carpentry and Renovation Techniques and Technician programs are constructing a small insulated shelter at the Belleville COVID-19 assessment centre to give frontline workers a place to get out of the cold.
The Belleville assessment centre, which is a drive-thru model, typically sees about 170 people come through each day. The Quinte Health Care attendants and the Hastings-Quinte paramedics on site spend many hours each day outside directing cars and swabbing people requiring COVID-19 tests. A new, warm shelter is a welcome addition to allow for momentary reprieves from the cold.
“Conducting COVID-19 tests is so critical to reduce the spread of illness in our communities, so we are pleased to donate and build a shelter that will keep the teams from Quinte Health Care and Hastings- Quinte Paramedic Services warm as they facilitate this important work,” said Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan, Loyalist College President & CEO. “For our Carpentry and Renovation students, this is a rewarding learning opportunity as they get to see the immediate benefits of their trade skills. It’s wonderful for the College to be able to give back to these essential workers, many of whom are our faculty members, graduates, and students. Additionally, close to 60,000 PPE supplies were donated at the beginning of the pandemic.”
The project, which will take about two weeks to complete, will teach students about floor, wall and roof framing, window and door setting, shingling and insulation as part of their New Construction & Renovation Techniques 1 and Alternative Residential Construction Techniques 1 courses. The shelter will be nine feet long by six feet wide, including a cantilever beam to support a canopy.
Larry Burnett, Carpentry and Renovation Techniques and Technician faculty member, is supervising the students and acting as the construction foreperson. He said this is the first time most of the students have constructed a project of this size and they were very excited to work on it.
“This is real-world experience for students,” said Larry. “They will learn how different framing systems connect, how to apply residential finishes and seal a structure from infiltration of the exterior cold air, all while learning to work as a functioning crew to reach a common end goal.”
“This is a fantastic initiative that will make a big difference for the frontline workers at the assessment centre,” said Jeff Hohenkerk, Quinte Health Care Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer. “We’re really seeing the value of community partnerships as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. Teaming up with Loyalist College on this project is another example of the strength of our community during these trying times. We’re all in this together.”
Frontline staff at the Trenton COVID-19 assessment centre need not be envious - the winter semester students from the Carpentry and Renovation Techniques and Technician programs will be building a shelter for them in the coming months.