Leesburg-area construction academies building houses, careers

The local high school construction academies in Leesburg, The Villages, Eustis, and South Lake had a banner school year for student participation, but more importantly, these young people helped build four homes for Habit for Humanity of Lake-Sumter.

In April and May, the students turned the keys over to brand new homeowners who, if not for these programs, and Habitat for Humanity, would have never been able to own a home. The construction academies in these high schools are a true partnership between the public and private sectors, and many of these students can leave high school with a job in hand.

Leesburg-area construction academies building houses, careers

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Six years ago, when the Leesburg Construction Academy was reinstituted, there were only about 35 students, and the program was struggling, to say the least. Thanks to the guidance of new Lake County School Superintendent, Diane Kornegay, and a commitment of the local construction industry, the Leesburg Academy received a $ 880,000 grant which revitalized the program.

That money was not wasted.

Equipment and material were purchased, and a partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter was forged to give students real world experiences in building homes.

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