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'IT'S BEEN SO LONG' | Muskegon Heights hosts open house for its first new build in 17 years

The home was built by students from the Career Tech Center in Muskegon.

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. — Hume Avenue was alive with activity Friday night. There was food, fellowship, and even a bouncy house. But the star of the show was a home at the corner of Jarman Street. It's a home that's making history in the Heights, because it's the city's first new build in 17 years.

The home was built by students that are part of the construction trades program at the Career Tech Center in Muskegon.

"The kids have really enjoyed the experience. I had students here today that were already done with school show up just because they wanted to see the project through. They were really excited about it," said Holly Pontius Stout, who is a construction trades instructor.

"We've had an excellent experience here in this community. Everyone that comes by has great, wonderful things to say to us. They're excited. They've been cheering us on the whole time and the kids have really just loved that that time here."

The 1,500 square foot home has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a single-stall garage. It is built to EnergyStar specifications and incorporates several eco-friendly features.

The land for the project was donated by Janet Robinson, whose great grandmother had previously owned a home on the land. For Robinson, Friday's open house was very special.

"I went through my emotions. I've already cried. Just to see it, and knowing where we came from, this property for me as a child growing up. It's just so overwhelming. I don't have words to describe the feeling she said.

The completion of the home was made possible by a partnership with the Lake Hawks In Flight Foundation, Inc. and many others.

"It means a lot. I mean, I tell you what, to understand that it's been so long since the first house we built here in Muskegon Heights. But most importantly, that our youth, our very own youth, it took their hands to build this house," said Ronald Jenkins from the Lake Hawks.

"We're going to be looking for more youth, more children to go to the next project that we have going on. So our Lake Hawks in Flight Foundation, this summer, we have a project going on that we're going to keep it going. And it's our very own youth that we're going to be putting the fourth. We're going to be passing the torch to them."

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