GOSHEN — Students from two universities chose to serve others in the Goshen community this week instead of visiting sunny beaches for spring break.
Twenty-two students,12 from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and nine from Boston University in Massachusetts, volunteered with social service agency LaCasa Inc. to work on the former Hawks Furniture Factory on Jefferson Street. LaCasa is turning the historic factory building into the Hawks Arts and Enterprise Center.
According to Doug Morgan, the Housing Development Manager for LaCasa, this is the seventh year that LaCasa has been involved with alternative spring break programs with different universities. He said that Boston University has been a part of the program all seven years. This is the first year for Bowling Green students to participate.
“They come pretty revved up. These guys have done a ton of work. They’ve really killed it out here,” Morgan said.
According to Morgan, the students have been doing light demolition work and recycling materials to prepare the building for construction.
Briana Stewart, a junior communications major from Bowling Green, said she heard about the school’s alternative break program and decided to get involved.
“We knew we were coming to Goshen, Ind., we knew we were going to work with LaCasa, we knew we were going to be into the alternative housing project, but we had no idea what we were coming into until Saturday when we got here,” she said.
Stewart said she had no experience with construction or demolition when she showed up for the first day of work.
“I worked in a factory, so I know how to wear the safety equipment, but that’s about it,” she said.
She said the experience has been fun and was something she wanted to do to give back and help others.