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Students and industry partner team up

October 20, 2011 12:00AM

Students make quick work of wrapping a garage in weatherizing material at Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

In addition to the 150-200 students and faculty members from Pittsburg State University who assisting in the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" build in Joplin, one of the College of Technology's partners has stepped up to play a role in the massive project, as well.

DuPont Tyvek, the company that produces Tyvek home wrap, donated more than 3,000 feet of wrap to Extreme Makeover for the multi-structure build. In seven days, crews are building seven homes and garages. Each home requires about three rolls of Tyvek, a material that weatherizes structures and reduces energy consumption.

Joe Butcher, a 22-year senior certified specialist with DuPont (and a PSU alumnus), has been visiting the College of Technology each semester for years to teach students about the company's products. Butcher the company didn't hesitate when it learned the show was looking for donations of all types of materials.

The Tyvek wrapping started at around midnight Wednesday and finished in the early hours Thursday morning. The material reduces energy consumption by 10 to 30 percent, thereby helping families cut down their utility bills.

For Butcher, who lives in Diamond, Mo., the tornado wasn't just an opportunity for business - it was personal, as well.

"My kids lost their home, my co-workers; it affected suppliers," he said. "Tyvek really wanted to do this and to do something good for Joplin."

Butcher said he was thrilled that PSU provided about 50 students and faculty to come out and help wrap the homes.

"These guys are doing a great job," he said, watching as the wrap began encompassing the first structure. "This can be hard work and you need young bodies that have the energy to pull through these graveyard shifts. I really appreciate PSU helping us find kids who are willing to help. They're losing a lot of sleep, but to have the chance to be involved like this is only a good thing."

©2011 Pittsburg State University