Tech Center students contribute shed to Habitat for Humanity homeowner

Tech Center students contribute shed to Habitat for Humanity homeowner
From left, carpentry students Travis Oden from Century, Wyatt Cox from Westminster and Brandon Pettigrew from Winters Mill built a storage shed, similar to the one pictured Jan. 16, 2019 at the Carroll County Career and Tech Center, for Habitat for Humanity in Westminster. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

The carpentry shop at the Carroll County Career and Technology Center is a little like a set of nesting eggs. Go through the door of the bigger structure and you’ll find many smaller buildings inside.

The sounds of sawing and drilling rise up from students practicing their building skills on sheds and outbuildings.


One of these sheds recently went to the latest recipient of a home through Habitat for Humanity of Carroll County. It’s the first time the Tech Center and Habitat have partnered.

Three students in the carpentry program took the lead on the project —Travis Oden from Century High School, Wyatt Cox from Westminster High and Brandon Pettigrew from Winters Mill High.

It was an accomplishment for the students that benefited both them and the Habitat homeowner, said Tech Center carpentry instructor Jon Mersinger.

“We frame to meet residential standards,” he said, meaning the students get experience framing and building roofs, floors and sliding doors and the homeowner gets a sturdier structure that should last longer.

Carroll Habitat’s Executive Director Bryan Lyburn said homeowner Natasha Elizabeth loves the shed that now sits on her property.

“I’ve seen it myself and it looks beautiful. The students did a wonderful job and we’re looking forward to getting them involved again,” he said.

The shed’s colors complement the house that Elizabeth helped the organization renovate for her and her son. They moved in late last October.

In January, Habitat thanked the students who built the shed with certificates and Habitat T-shirts.

According to a Facebook post by Habitat, construction manager Scott Schwartz said it was “nice to see a full class of future carpenters in the shop insuring that there will continue to be excellent home builders and craftsmen in our future.”

The group of students, who are all seniors coming close to completing their time in the program, all said they enjoyed the project. Each did “a little bit of everything” on the project.

Pettigrew said he was able to use a a variety of things he’d learned in the carpentry program.

Oden did a lot of the siding work on the project and enjoyed learning new things through the project that he’ll use later in life, he said.

John McDowell of Taneytown Towing & Transport volunteered to transport the shed from the Tech Center to the renovated home.

Lowe’s donated many of the materials used in the project.


Lyburn said the key to the partnership was “learning about the Career and Technology Center and their objectives, and then for us, figuring out how we could create a valuable experience for the students. With Scott Schwartz, our construction manager, working with John Mersinger, we were able to get the students involved.”

Lyburn said he values bringing young people on board with community service.

“I think we as organizations have a responsibility to engage the students and young people in our community — to teach them the importance of service and to encourage it and make it fun for them, and to have them be able to see the results of their work. … Hopefully we’ve been able to foster this at Habitat,” he said.

More information about Habitat for Humanity of Carroll County is available at