By Frank Stanko
An open house and ribbon-cutting will be held by the city of Wahpeton and North Dakota State College of Science beginning at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 11.
The celebration honors the Red River Cottage housing project, located at 207 Fourth Ave. S. in Wahpeton. NDSCS’ building construction technology students constructed the building for the Eastern Dakota Housing Alliance.
“The city provided the vacant double lot for the project,” said Wahpeton’s Economic Development Director Jane Priebe. “The property sat vacant for quite some time and EDHA was looking to help with a neighborhood project.”
Tenants of the Red River Cottage will be residents from Red River Human Services, a private non-profit organization that provides services to people with developmental disabilities.
“When we learned that Red River Human Services was looking to create a smaller model for their residents, the college construction piece just seemed to be the right place to start,” Priebe said.
In March 2013, architectural drafting and construction management first- and second-year students from NDSCS came together on an assignment for the school’s design charrette, department chair Randy Stach said. A charrette is an intensive planning session involving collaboration from designers, citizens and others on a vision for development.
“The design was finalized and construction began in January 2014 in the building construction technology lab building,” Stach said. “The site was staked out by the land surveying and civil engineering technology students. The first-year building construction technology students constructed the foundation on-site as their first project to ever use insulated concrete forms.”
In October 2015, the house was moved to its new location. It will be completed and ready for occupancy later this month.
“Students were given the opportunity to learn more about creating living spaces by incorporating universal designs that would help people with disabilities live as independently as possible,” Priebe said.
And there were many students involved in and who benefitting from the unique, real world hands-on project, Barb Bang, NDSCS’ technology and services division dean, said.
“We are so excited to help bring this opportunity for community living to people we support,” said Pam Erlandson, community services director for Red River Human Services. “To have collaborated with so many others to help people’s dreams come true is very rewarding.”
Tours will follow the ceremony and light refreshments will be served. In case of inclement weather, guests are asked to gather at Red River Human Services’ meeting room, located at 207 Fifth St. S. in Wahpeton.
“This was a great partnership with EDHA, the city and college and Red River Human Services,” mayor Meryl Hansey said. “It was truly a win for everyone.”
The Eastern Dakota Housing Alliance is a Fargo-based non-profit housing developer, created in 1998 to foster the development and preservation of affordable housing in eastern North Dakota.
For more information, please visit www.edha.org.
Full article from the Wahpeton Daily News.