Note to Reporters: Photos are available with this news release online at www.news.colostate.edu.
For recent Colorado State University graduate Jedious Aggrey, the impact of the project he was undertaking didn’t hit him until he saw a woman in a wheelchair who couldn’t get into the Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Center in Fort Collins.
“She asked us for help, and we got her into the building,” he recalled. “That’s when we realized why we were doing this: We want to make a difference in this world that we’re in, and it’s the right thing to do.”
Building a wheelchair ramp at the SAVA Center and revamping a bathroom to be accessible to those with disabilities was just one of three projects carried out this spring by CM Cares. The service-learning program in CSU’s Department of Construction Management relies on student volunteers from all over campus as well as time and materials donated by the Northern Colorado construction industry.
Students also modified the home of Chris Walter to make it more accessible and friendly to a gardener in a wheelchair. They constructed a bay window that gives Walter an area for his starter plants, built planter boxes on the deck, added handrails in the bathroom and created a new, expanded driveway.
"These students have vision," Nilia Walter, Chris’ mother, said at a May 15 campus presentation on this semester’s CM Cares projects. "They have good ideas, and I am really glad that we got to experience that. This is a great team, and we couldn’t have done this without them."
CSU students also installed a wheelchair path and a pergola-covered patio at the Timnath home of Jarah and Mat Grashorn, whose 7-year-old son Gavin has a brain birth defect. The improvements will allow him to spend time outside with his parents and little brother.
"These guys are amazing, and the projects are awesome," Jarah told the audience. "The time, the energy, the resources that everyone puts into this work is just such a big deal to everyone receiving it. We can’t thank you enough."
This year’s project sponsors included FCI Constructors, Haselden Construction, ISEC Inc., and Swinerton Builders, along with contributions from more than 60 donors. Milwaukee Tools contributed several power tools that were especially helpful to the project teams.
"CM Cares is four years old and we’ve done at least three projects each spring," said Chris Lierheimer, one of the student leaders of the Grashorn project. "That’s a lot of good going out into the world."
Videos about a couple of the student projects are available at http://youtu.be/4evG1Do7P3E (Walter home) and http://youtu.be/V2-h1aBkgtY (Grashorn home). More information is available online at www.cm.chhs.colostate.edu/cm-cares.
The Department of Construction Management is in the College of Health and Human Sciences at CSU.