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Luana Dang and family in front of their home
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Impromptu hula generated sunny smiles, as Hawaiʻi Community College dedicated the college’s 50th model home built by students and handed the keys to the new homeowner, Luana Dang and her family.

Hawaiʻi Community College is nō ka ʻoi,” said Dang. “I hope my grandchildren come here.”

house with a sign in front
The 50th Hawaiʻi Community College model home

Students in five Hawaiʻi CC programs built the home. More than 4,000 students have participated since the Model Home project was established in 1965, to give students in construction trade programs a hands-on learning experience.

“You just learn so many world experiences,” said carpentry student Keoki Baily. “After this you can go outside and build your own house.”

“This project has meant a lot to me because it helps us to get ready for the outside field of work,” said agriculture student Tyson Ah Puck.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands acts as the developer, while Hawaiʻi CC provides the skilled labor at no cost, resulting in an affordable home for a local family.

Carpentry Professor Gene Harada, who built model homes as a student and graduated from Hawaiʻi CC in 1975, is a shining example of how the program continues to give back to the community.

“We’ve been very fortunate that so far I have 15 past graduates since 1991 that have gotten their contractors license and they are coming back to hire our students,” said Harada.

Here’s to the next 50 years, Hawaiʻi Community College!

See more images from the 50th Model Home at the Hawaiʻi CC flickr.

—By Kelli Trifonovitch

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