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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published October 09 2010

EXTREME MAKEOVER: Students use their knowledge to the 'extreme'

The “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” has become a classroom for many area college students.

About 60 Minnesota State Community and Technical College students have been involved at the south Moorhead building site, getting hands-on experience in their various fields.

For students in the landscape and garden center technician program, one of Friday’s lessons was “how to work with chaos,” said instructor Cindy Hayward.

The students waited around Friday morning until the project at 803 22nd Ave. S. was at a stage for them to do their work. They installed a patio and walkway and planted shrubs and perennials.

Meanwhile, culinary arts students from MSCTC served breakfast in the VIP tent.

“All of the skills that we learned in our first year we applied here today,” said Peggy Dunham, a second-year culinary arts major.

In addition to using the skills they’re learning in the classroom, students gained experience working with people, said instructor Kim Brewster.

“They get to practice more social skills other than just in the kitchen,” Brewster said.

Earlier in the week, MSCTC carpentry students volunteered at the site doing decorative finish work, said John Centko, dean of academic affairs. One day they were part of the overnight crew, working from 1 a.m. until 9 a.m.

North Dakota State University emergency management students have been coordinating the volunteer check-in

“The skill sets that they’re utilizing here are the same that they’d use in a disaster event,” said Carol Cwiak, emergency management assistant professor.

NDSU students also did some landscaping work.

Minnesota State University Moorhead construction management students were involved with the project.

Eight MSUM athletic training students work at the north Moorhead site of the house that was moved from the makeover site.

Concordia College students and staff worked around the clock to shuttle volunteers to the work site.

The college donated the use of a van, and students and staff members volunteered in three-hour shifts to drive the van.

MSCTC landscape student Josh Lindsey, a fan of the ABC show, said he told all of his family members about it.

“When I found out we were doing this, I got pretty excited,” Lindsey said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590