Work begins on second student-built home in west side neighborhood

Area 31 kids making a differnce


Staff report

With one house in the Drexel Gardens neighborhood well underway, students from the Area 31 Career Center at Ben Davis High School are getting ready to start building another home next door.

The students, enrolled in Area 31’s construction trades program, began work in August, 2016 on a home at 5139 Melrose Avenue in Wayne Township. They will begin work on a house in the vacant lot next door, at 5143 Melrose, in the weeks ahead. The second home is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

“We are thrilled to see a second new home going up in as many years in Wayne Township’s Drexel Garden neighborhood,” said MSD of Wayne Township Superintendent Jeff Butts. “These homes are a reflection of strong partnerships between our school district and community organizations.”

Indy Gateway, a west side community and economic development organization, is one of those community partners. Indy Gateway has provided the vacant lots for both homes. Other sponsors of the home-building effort are B & W Plumbing and Heating, FedEx, Lowe’s, ProBuild, Spectrum Janitorial Supply, and Kroger, which became a project partner in August.

More than 50 students from the Area 31 Career Center will take part in the construction of the homes. They will work on masonry, carpentry, roofing, drywall, insulation, interior and exterior trim, and painting.

“Our students are able to encounter real world situations every day as they work on these homes,” said Doug Sisk, construction trades instructor for Area 31. “They are learning to solve problems in a way they wouldn’t learn simply reading about them in a

Students in Area 31’s construction trades program can earn up to 18 college credits and three national certifications. The program provides students enough knowledge and skill to acquire an entry-level job in the construction trades industry, or to continue their education.

“Training future construction trades workers is essential in an industry where, increasingly, they are in short supply,” said Superintendent Butts.

For more information on the Area 31 Career Center’s Construction Trades Program, visit or call 317-988-7230.