Owens McCullough P.E., VP Engineering and Project Development at Sebago Technics and W-G Rotary member, shared an update on the next Rotary House at our meeting on October 31. Our house construction project collaboration among Rotary, WRVC and the City of Westbrook began in 1957 and is the oldest continuing project of its kind in the United States. Rotary House #46 will be built on land at the very end of Declaration Drive in a well-established Pride’s Corner neighborhood.  
In 1957, Carl Jensen then Director of Voc Ed at WHS, proposed a house construction project for training his students.  The Superintendent of Schools Galen Veayo heartily supported the idea and they kicked off a drive which resulted in over 20 businesses donating money to the project.
The Westbrook Rotary Club donated the first plot of land on Libby Avenue and several local businesses held their invoices until the home was sold. In June 1958, a big open house celebration was held.  Of note, key Rotarians used their personal lines of credit to make the project a reality for the first few years.  Eventually our house trust was established with proceeds. This trust now funds the construction of each new house as well as provides funds for annual scholarships.  
Initially, one house was built on-site each school year. Students from all areas of the Vocational Center participated in the project from building trades, to business and marketing, to home economics. During the 1970s, some homes were built at the school and later moved to land provided by those who purchased the homes.  Also in the 1970s, they skipped about 5 years of home building during which students built the Home Economics Center - the building that is now the superintendent’s office. In more recent years, a home has been completed about every two years.
The current lot has been surveyed and we have hired a professional to clear trees from the lot due to proximity of nearby homes.  Earthwork will also be done by hired professionals for this house due to an WRVC instructor vacancy.  We expect Gorham Sand & Gravel to step into this gap. We hope to have the foundation installed by winter and capped. The plan is for a highly energy efficient single level home of approximately 1500 square feet.  It will likely have a daylight basement given the sloping elevations of this property.

Our ongoing house project collaboration provides real, hands-on, practical experience for the WRVC students in the construction trades. We are proud to be able to continue this partnership with the City and the Westbrook Regional Vocational Center.