July 12, 2017
On July 12, 2017, the High School Interns visited various NYC Build It Back Program construction sites in New Dorp, Staten Island. DDC’s architects, project managers and college interns led a tour around the neighborhood showcasing several homes repaired by Build it Back. They spoke to students about the many elements of the program. Build It Back offers assistance to homeowners, landlords, and tenants in the five boroughs affected by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. The Program provides repair, rebuilding, reimbursement, or acquisition options for affected home owners so that they can return to safe, resilient and sustainable homes. Staten Island was severely affected by Hurricane Sandy. Many homes were left in need of extensive repairs and modifications in order for those homes to be able to withstand future natural disasters. The interns learned about how the program both revitalized homes and also helped to promote economic stability in the community through sustainable and smart home rehabilitation.
The construction site tour of homes in the program was led by Build It Back Program Project Executive Kenneth Petrocca, Senior Project Manager Kevin Lee, along with college interns, Vincenza Perla, Ibrahim Husein, and Abraham Gonzalez. The team spoke about the work of Build it Back, their day to day duties at DDC, as well as their respective career and educational backgrounds. In order to adapt to the changing environment and to provide for protection from future storms, the homes were elevated to comply with flood elevations standards. During the elevation process, home foundations were also reinforced and set to industry standards. Other homes that were demolished or damaged beyond repair by Hurricane Sandy were replaced by new elevated structures rebuilt to include resiliency improvements. The team offered insight into the process of repairing the homes and the importance of elevation for homes in coastal communities. In addition, the interns learned about the many measures taken before homes are repaired and what is entailed in the designing of sustainable homes.
The high school interns also heard from DDC College interns who shared their educational and professional experiences. The college interns stressed the importance of being open to learning new concepts. They also expressed how they have been able to take what they have learned in the classroom and apply it in the field working at DDC. They encouraged the High School interns to pursue challenges and to explore opportunities within their areas of interest.