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Home / Blog / Pella Helps Build the Future: MCC Capstone House

In the heart of Omaha, each year, Metropolitan Community College (MCC) construction and building science students team up with Pella Windows and Doors to build the Capstone House.

For Pella and the MCC students, building the Capstone House marks an annual milestone. Together, they are making a difference in their communities by donating their time, resources, and hard work, turning their passion for affordable housing into action.

Pella and the MCC students

Breaking Ground: The Birth of a Project

Let’s rewind a bit and dive into how this collaboration got started. Imagine a bunch of MCC students sitting in class, itching to put their skills to the test. That’s where the idea for the Capstone House comes in.

Like the grand finale of their construction and building science curriculum, the students were given a chance to take everything they’ve learned and apply it to a real-world project. And once they got the green light, they hit the ground running.

Fast-forward to 2023. Picture the house dismantled into four parts, each carefully transported to its final destination on North 16th Street. Then, like a puzzle being expertly pieced together, the structure gradually emerged, showcasing the enormous efforts of the students involved.

This process marks the culmination of nearly a year of rigorous training and hands-on learning.

Pella Windows and Doors building the Capstone House

Hands-On Learning: From Classroom to Construction Site

Drew Henrichs, the MCC faculty member spearheading this transformative project, shed light on the Capstone House timeline and process.

In the fall, the students frame the house. During winter, they do the roofing, siding, and window installation. And in the spring and summer, they wrap the project up by dialing in on the drywall, trim work, and cabinets.

But building the Capstone House isn’t just about constructing a great project; it’s about nurturing a generation of skilled professionals who translate blueprints into reality.

Henrichs also emphasizes the significance of the Capstone home project within the curriculum. He noted how the project provides invaluable hands-on experience that reinforces knowledge acquired in the classroom.

Because his students aren’t just reading textbooks and taking tests; they’re out there in the field, getting their hands dirty. From framing to roofing to putting in windows, they’re learning the ropes of construction the best way possible—by actually doing it. And there’s no better teacher than experience.

Capstone House

Pella’s Continued Support: A Commitment to Community

Pella has been a partner of the Capstone House project for multiple years. We are proud to lend our expertise and resources that help make the Capstone House project a success year after year.

In 2023, Pella donated 17 windows and three doors for the project. With quality resources and support, the students were able to build the Capstone House on schedule, after a year of hard work.

For Pella, it’s not just about selling windows and doors; it’s about being a part of something bigger. Our annual contribution to The Capstone House project is about investing in the future of the community and giving back in meaningful ways where it matters most—right here at home.

The Capstone House project

Community Collaboration: Partnerships That Make a Difference

But here’s the thing: the students didn’t do it alone.

One critical partnership that is key to the Capstone House is the partnership forged with NeighborWorks Home Solutions—an organization dedicated to affordable housing solutions.

David Hazelwood, a key figure at NeighborWorks, echoed the impact of this collaboration, highlighting how they secured funding, found the perfect spot for the house, and even helped select the families who would eventually call it home.

It’s a prime example of what can happen when organizations come together for a common cause.

Making an Impact: Building More Than Just Houses

The annual Capstone project serves as a beacon of hope for North Omaha, where the need for affordable housing is dire.

Henrich’s and his students take immense pride in their role as catalysts for positive change, knowing that their help directly contributes to giving back to their community, revitalizing neighborhoods, and making a difference in people’s lives

For many students, the Capstone House project is personal. Many of them have grown up in these communities, so they take pride in seeing their hard work translate into real-world improvements.

MCC students and Construct VisionLooking Ahead: A Bright Future for North Omaha

As the dust settles and the house stands proudly on North 16th Street, it serves as a beacon of hope for North Omaha. Each nail driven and every wall built in this endeavor speaks volumes about the resilience and determination of everyone involved, from the MCC students to Pella and NeighborWorks.

Every successful new build is a symbol of what’s possible when people come together with a shared vision and a lot of determination. And with community projects like the Capstone House happening year after year, the future is looking bright for this community.

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