A group of BOCES students and the City of Norwich have partnered on a project that is helping to transform a neighborhood.
Students in the construction trade at Delaware, Chenango, Madison and Otsego BOCES have actually built an entire house. It's at 49 Front Street. The dilapidated house that used to be on this land caught fire about 6 years ago. Eventually the land was left vacant. So the City turned to the students for help. Norwich is paying for the materials and the students have done the work, from putting up walls, to laying floors and installing cabinets. The city has hired a few professional contractors to work on the plumbing, electrical and heating systems. Although even then, students were allowed to work side by side with the professionals. It has taken about 2 years to build the 3 bedroom, 2 and a half bath home.
Norwich Mayor, Joe Maiurano, says part of what makes the project so exciting is that it's spurring other homeowners on the street to upgrade their homes. Several people have repainted or resided their homes since work began at 49 Front Street. Maiurano says, "Once you start revitalizing one part of a neighborhood, the rest of the neighborhood picks up. It's like a domino effect of cleaning up neighborhoods. This has just been a great project."
The city plans to list the home soon and hopes to break-even cost-wise on the project. Norwich has re-built three other homes. Those were paid for with Restore New York grant funding. However, this project was not part of that.