NMU volunteer construction club accumulates over 1500 work hours

Alex Belz

The NMU Constructors Club has contributed over 1,500 hours of volunteer work since the beginning of the 2009-2010 academic year.

While the group is primarily a volunteer organization, they didn’t set out to have so many hours of volunteer work, said Chris Singer, president of the club.

“We never really set a goal. We don’t want to pressure people into having to do the projects, but people are always there to step up and do the projects when we commit to them,” Singer said.

The group’s projects have included building the Hoop House for the Marquette Food Co-Op and Northern Initiatives and working on a house for an injured war veteran in Menominee.

At the beginning of last semester, the group did a loft building project for incoming freshman in the dorms. The group also helps build barricades for the UP 200 and help with the UP Builders Show, which this year occurs over Spring Break.

“We’ve done some stuff here in the community with Habitat and Make A Difference Day when we have time,” Singer said.

The club went down to New Orleans to help repair two homes the first week of winter break, building a roof for one of the houses and putting up the siding, trim, windows and doors on both. They worked eight hours a day for six days. The project was through Habitat for Humanity.

Senior construction management major Justin Nimsgern, who went on the group’s previous New Orleans trip in 2007, said both experiences were beneficial.

“It’s a great experience. You actually get to work with the family who owns the house. That’s the best part,” Nimsgern said. “It’s a learning experience for hands on work. You don’t even have to be [in] construction management to do it. There were people with us who had no carpentry background.”

Nimsgern said the members of the group use the volunteer hours for a variety of reasons.

“I’m not a part of the Superior Edge or anything; I do this all for myself. Some people use it for community service hours, or scholarships. I do this all on my own time, my free time, for myself.”

The group also hosts several social functions, like fishing trips and softball games, in order to get to know each other and attract more members.

“We do a lot of volunteer work every weekend,” Nimsgern said. “We’re very involved in the community.”

Both Nimsgern and Singer said they encourage students to join and help out with volunteering.

“If anyone ever wants to get involved, or hang out and have a good time, they’re more than welcome, we’re open to the whole campus,” Singer said. “If people are interested, they can just shoot me an e-mail.”

The group meets as needed on Wednesdays at 5:15 p.m. Interested students should contact Singer at [email protected]