Sitting in a dusty corner of my house, beneath the portrait of John Wayne my husband insists we display, sits a small metal cannon on a wooden base.
There is nothing particularly remarkable about this cannon; it doesn't shoot tiny cannon balls or anything. And it's not asthough my house is decorated in a Civil War motif and this is an objet d'art.
In 15 years I have stubbed my toe countless times on this miniature piece of weaponry. I have attempted to hide it, disguise it and even once tried to convince my mother-in-law that it really belonged inmy husband's childhood home. She moved shortly thereafter.
Yet this little cannon remains a part of our home because my husband made it in shop class in 1972. This cannon is memorabilia. This cannon is for keeps.
Shop classes are different now. Girls are welcome in the "industrial arts" wing of the school, and guys are learning how to sift flour in home ec and to wire lamps. (You gotta love the '90s). And though maybe the students are still making an occasional cannon ortwo, they are also learning how to make things that are a little more practical. Like a house.
Construction students at the Center of Applied Technology North have been busy this school year building 1502 Furnace Ave., a house with three bedrooms, one bath, a living room,dining roomand a kitchen complete with appliances. The completed home will be sold for a mortgaged amount of $85,000 to a first-time homebuyer under a special county loan program from the Department of Housing and Community Development.
Constructed in two parts on the school grounds in Severn, the modular sections were moved two weeks ago to a foundation in Shoreland next to Point Pleasant Elementary School. For the next several weeks, the students will commute to the job site to complete the project.
A joint effort between the Anne Arundel County Students Construction Trades Foundation and the Office of Community Development, this project serves two purposes: to provide the students with hands-on experience in the construction trade; and to provide affordable housing for first-time buyers.
Tinker Trow iscoordinating this year's project for the AACSTF along with Bill Gibbons of the Office of Community Development.
"Students do the masonry, the electrical work, carpentry, plumbing. When they're finished the students from the landscaping and greenhouse classes will finish up," said Trow. "We want to get the kids involved in a real project. When they drive by 10 years later they can say 'we built this house.' "
This is the fourth building constructed on a lot by the students.
Shawn Jacobs and Keith Cook, Glen Burnie Senior High School students, are doing the masonry work.
"We built the foundation, put the footers in, laid the block and parged it. It's good on the job experience," said Jacobs.
As with all students in the program, they attend regular classes at the high school in the morning and then go toCAT North in the afternoon. Nine high schools feed into the vocational school.
"I first started here to get out of regular school. Butafter you start, you like it more and more," said Cook.
The houseis expected to be completed within a month. While construction is under way, the Office of Community Development is accepting pre-applications to purchase the home.
Purchase is limited to first-time buyers only. There is an income limit of $32,000 for an individual and $40,000 for two or more persons. Although there is no down payment necessary, the buyer is responsible for closing costs, estimated to be $5,000 to $6,000.
Priority will be given to residents of Cadillac Homes, Country Club Estates, Country Club Manor, Gatewater, Gatewater Apartments, Hammarlee, Margate, Point Pleasant, Shoreland, Suburbia and Twin Cove. The immediate children of residents may also apply.
The deadline for submitting a pre-application is May 24. Forms have been distributed throughout the communities or may be obtained by calling 222-6858.
The owner of the house on Furnace Avenue will be welcome to join the Point Pleasant-Shoreland Improvement Association. Theassociation is experiencing a resurgence of popularity and communityinvolvement. In the past several months it has donated a computer toPoint Pleasant Elementary School and several research books to the library at Arthur Slade. It also donated several new tables to the Church of the Good Shepherd.
Association members are working on a newsign at the entrance to the community on Point Pleasant Road.
Residents of both communities are invited to an association meeting at 7:30 tomorrow night in the Church of the Good Shepherd hall, 1451 Furnace Ave. Membership applications will be available; annual dues are $5 per family.
For more information, call 766-4310 or 255-8175.
A meeting of the Glen Burnie High School Band Parents Association is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. tonight in the band room of the school. Parents of band students at Marley and Corkran middle schools who will be joining Glen Burnie's band next year are invited.