A beautiful new home on Lethbridge’s south side has resulted in a $107,000 gift to Lethbridge College from the builder, Empire Homes. This is the seventh contribution to the college from The College Home partnership, a unique fundraising initiative between the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Lethbridge Region (CHBA) and the college. Money raised from the project has gone to support the college’s new Trades, Technologies and Innovation Facility.
“The philanthropic spirit of our local home-building industry has really made this a signature project for our region,” says Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO. “Having a small, custom-builder like Empire Homes lead the build this year illustrates how the entire CHBA has really committed to this initiative, and we are very thankful for their support to make our new facility a reality.”
The recently-completed, $77 million Trades, Technologies and Innovation Facility officially opened in late-September and houses a number of programs that support the local construction industry, such as Engineering Design and Drafting Technology, Interior Design Technology, and Welder, Electrician, Plumber and Construction apprenticeships. It is the largest trades training facility south of Calgary.
Empire Homes is a high-end, low-volume, custom home builder based in Lethbridge. The company prides itself on understanding its customers’ practical requirements and special needs and works to build each home to suit its occupants. The house built for The College Home Project is called the Serapis, named for an ancient god of knowledge and education.
“We firmly believe in the value of education, and we delight in watching young apprentices on our worksites apply what they have learned in college,” says Wes Carroll, owner of Empire Homes and former president of CHBA – Lethbridge Region. “We also wanted to support this initiative to show that small businesses can have a large effect in the community. It’s all about believing in the project and making others believe with you.”
The College Home launched as a partnership between Lethbridge College and CHBA in 2013. This is the seventh home to be built during the five-year program that involves CHBA builders working with their suppliers and tradespeople to build homes that are then showcased and sold. Each builder then makes a donation from the proceeds of the sale to Lethbridge College. The project has now raised $720,868 over its first four years.
“Lethbridge is a leader in community collaboration, and we are proud to have The College Home recognized on a national level,” says Angela Cornforth, CHBA Lethbridge Region president. “Trained and skilled workers are vital to our residential construction industry. We are grateful to our members for their dedication to this project and ensuring its continued success.”
Lead builders of past The College Home houses are Ashcroft Master Builder, Galko Master Builder, Avonlea Master Builder, Stranville Living Master Builder, Daytona Homes and Signature Homes. The fifth and final year of The College Home partnership is underway, with a home from Stranville Living Master Builder now available for sale.