Berry community celebrates completion of student-renovated home – News-Herald

Perry High School students who spent three years renovating a house got a chance to showcase the results of their hard work during a special event.

A ribbon-cutting and touring party took place on June 8 at a Utah Court home in Berry Township, with students playing an instrumental role in upgrading and preparing the home for sale.

Students of home renovation classes at Perry High School have been using the home, located at 4330 Utah Court, as a real-world classroom since August of 2019.

Built in 1964 and purchased by Berry Schools three years ago, the house has provided students with a place to receive hands-on experience in various aspects of home construction and improvements.

Betty Jo Malchisky, assistant superintendent of Perry Schools, right, speaks before the June 8 ribbon-cutting ceremony that celebrated the completion of the students’ renovated home. For the past three years, Perry High School students in home renovation classes have used the home at 4330 Utah Court in Perry Township as a real classroom, and Perry Schools hopes to sell the home at an upcoming auction. Proceeds in excess of the purchase price will be allocated to the purchase of another home for future students to renovate. (Bill Debus – News Herald)

The Perry School District’s inaugural attempt was to purchase a home and then conduct a classroom in which students would renovate the building.

The area’s goal now is to sell the home, and to recover the purchase price of at least $89,500. Any sales proceeds above this amount will be allocated to help purchase another project home.

Over the past three academic years, about 100 students from teacher Ryan Zusy’s home renovation classes have worked at home. They received guidance on home building and renovation techniques, not only from Zusy, but also from a variety of local professional contractors.

Outside the blue-sided house with a crowd of people in the corridor
The exterior of a Perry Township house renovated by Perry High School students is shown on June 8 after a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Berry Schools celebrated students’ completion of the home improvement over three years during home renovation classes. Built in 1964, the home is located at 4330 Utah Court. (Bill Debus – News Herald)

“It went really well,” Zusy said as he reflected on the project. “I couldn’t be happier with the progress of the kids and what they did, and the contractors we’ve partnered with. It has been amazing.”

Guaranteed scholarship funding from Perry Schools is paid to professional contractors to mentor and advise students as they work. These contractors also took the lead in performing some of the more complex tasks that were part of the endeavor.

In addition, the district received grant funding to purchase all building materials, supplies, furnishings, and equipment needed to renovate the home.

Students did homework such as demolishing, installing windows and doors, hanging drywall in the garage, and painting. They also worked alongside contractors on jobs related to plumbing; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; electrical systems; Pouring and finishing concrete.

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