June 6, 2023


Home Improvement

Airdrie Home and Household: McKee Residences builds futures with revolutionary software

9 min read

Getting into its ninth calendar year in September, Developing Futures integrates curriculum prerequisites with actual-environment programs as pupils concurrently construct a dwelling from the floor up in conjunction with their total classroom studying.

For virtually 35 a long time, McKee Residences has been creating Airdrie a single household at a time.

The developer has become a mainstay in the town and, because constructing its to start with house in 1987, McKee has managed its popularity as an genuine dwelling builder with integrity and high quality products and solutions.

Even so, what places McKee Households above the relaxation is its commitment to Airdrie and the surrounding area.

“We adore our neighborhood, have elevated our people listed here and look ahead to supporting out for many many years to arrive,” claimed Elaine McKee Doel, McKee Homes’ president.

Crafted on the values of founder Martin McKee, the hometown homebuilder continues to honour the tradition of “building high-quality spouse and children properties for our neighbours.” This mission extends beyond development and into a motivation to go away a lasting impact on the local community.

A happy supporter of a variety of not-for-gain businesses this kind of as North Rocky Check out Local community One-way links, Airdrie Foods Bank, Airdrie Health Basis, Airdrie Hospice Society and Airdrie Rotary Club, McKee also presents back again to theatre teams, athletics teams, college clubs, gatherings and playgrounds, leisure clubs and extra in Airdrie, Crossfield and location.

With all this in brain, it must occur as no surprise the homebuilder was eager to be part of an modern partnership with Rocky Check out Colleges (RVS) to supply students a new way of studying, by way of its Developing Futures program.

Entering its ninth yr in September, Building Futures integrates curriculum necessities with actual-world apps as students simultaneously build a household from the floor up in conjunction with their total classroom discovering.

“Students are released to each and every angle of dwelling construction, in a classroom they assistance to establish on their own, and in two new homes they assist develop to completion,” McKee Doel stated. “All this, while getting their high-university-tutorial instruction correct on web page. It is really cool and we are so proud to be portion of it.”

The brainchild of then-George McDougall instructors Greg Rankin and Jarett Hooper, Creating Futures sees students working with tradespeople to lead to the building of two McKee Households houses each individual calendar year. These households are for actual homebuyers and to day, far more than 200 students have participated in the completion of these prime-good quality builds.

McKee Doel understood Hooper from when he taught her sons’ store course and said she was pleased to investigate the thought of McKee Homes’ involvement in Creating Futures.

“We believed – wonderful – we could have 10 young men and women appear to our web pages a several moments a week and have them study about constructing. They said, ‘Actually we were being imagining entire immersion.’ When we caught our breath, we basically manufactured it take place thanks to our excellent group of trades, personnel and the support of the Town,” McKee Doel explained.

“We love our business. And we know we need to display the terrific possibilities that exist within it to our next generation, to let them experience firsthand the awesome profession options. The selection was simple.”

She additional collaborating for the plan in shape effectively with the company’s main values and the belief a local community is made more robust by its associates getting associated.

“What greater way than to clearly show youth what they can produce,” she reported. “We by no means appeared at the choice of it not becoming achievable, and listed here we are practically a decade later on, even now sharing our expertise and pride.”


“McKee Houses is just an extraordinary corporation,” explained Rankin, who is now principal of Rocky See Educational institutions Group Discovering Centre. “Rocky Perspective Colleges, of program, is seeking following every single scholar but that does not indicate the non-public sector normally is. But in this article, you have McKee Homes that is inclined to invest time and cash and their men and women into one thing they believe that is critical for Airdrie. It’s outstanding when you think about what they’re offering again to the town.”

At first obtainable only to Quality 10 pupils in Airdrie, Creating Futures is now made available in Cochrane and the Airdrie plan expanded to college students in Grade 11 this yr. Will increase program entry to substantial-faculty juniors permits pupils who have currently accomplished the application to further establish their skills, whilst letting people who failed to take part in Quality 10 a probability to knowledge the well-known software.

“I consider the major part is obtaining a spouse like McKee Residences bounce on board and say we want to enable children an opportunity to explore one thing actual and investigate it with gurus,” Rankin explained. “When the tradespeople arrive in, they are genuinely offering a whole lot of time and electrical power to get the job done with pupils. And a whole lot of the tradespeople that commenced with us are continue to coming back…which, I consider, states a good deal about McKee and the people today that that get the job done for them.”

Coleman Massey, one particular of two present-day Developing Futures instructors in Airdrie, reported the partnership with McKee permits college students “a extremely exceptional knowledge, and even our tradespeople are a minor little bit jealous of the opportunity the learners have.”

“Our young children get this truly, seriously varied and extremely in-depth glimpse at several different stages of development, but also several distinctive parts of the creating sector,” Massey mentioned. “We’re fortunate to have McKee Residences and have so many excellent folks there who are eager to appear and talk to our kids about zoning. To arrive discuss to our young ones about permits. To arrive converse to our young children about the MLS listings, the revenue area of it, the staging of the property.”

In addition to the insight offered by McKee staff, Making Futures students also discovered about mortgages and credit history last yr, many thanks to a local mortgage broker from Wise House loan Remedies.

“I assume when individuals see our system, they in the beginning imagine that it really is, ‘Oh, young children get to establish a dwelling,’ but it is really so substantially a lot more than that,” Massey explained. “They get to practical experience the construction sector and the homebuilding market from the inside out, which is a definitely, seriously cool possibility that McKee Homes affords us, and we are quite grateful for that.”

He reported however the application won’t drive connections involving curriculum-based understanding and the course of action of developing a dwelling, the two mesh very well. Massey made use of the example of globalization, which is portion of the social research curriculum. He stated college students get a actual-planet instance of the notion when they see the numerous components required to construct a house appear from all over the entire world.

Rankin said Setting up Futures gives learners a new standpoint on lifetime as a functioning grownup. For case in point, completing most of a math test may be sufficient to get a passing grade, but installing a few-quarters of the drywall in a dwelling won’t fly.


He added the application also builds students’ pride in their function and showcases the affect of group involvement.

“We felt that it was an critical issue the children could see the dwelling go up and you can depart at the stop of the day, actually pleased that something was done and finish,” Rankin reported. “When the young children place with each other the stone in the hearth, it was performed, and the operator was going to be hunting at that hearth each and every working day and working with it – and that was a thing that the young children experienced produced.”         

As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the 2020-21 faculty year, the software had to adapt to limits positioned on access to the position web-site. Nevertheless, learners experienced brainstormed regional local community businesses for the course to become included with at the starting of the calendar year, and one of individuals groups just so happened to require expert labourers. With approval from McKee Houses and RVS, learners aided assemble shelters and habitats for animals at the Alberta Pound and Rescue Centre’s (APARC) Airdrie warehouse, positioned at 2 East Lake Way N.E.

“I consider it was an total fulfilling experience for our youngsters past yr,” Massey said. “Just to set it into standpoint, we experienced a snow day, 1 of those people days where Rocky Look at Educational institutions shut down buses and universities shut. We nonetheless went to the put and informed our young ones they get the choice to clearly show up, but lecturers and the McKee Houses associates will be there. And we experienced about 90 per cent of our course display up.”

He added that McKee Houses also “jumped correct on it with their support in phrases of human ability,” and the company’s Constructing Futures Task Supervisor Sheri McAllister even arrived to assist.

“I cannot discuss properly ample about Sheri McAllister,” Massey explained. “She took time off to assistance us there. It was truly, really neat to have anyone variety of arrive with each other in that second.”

The operate at APARC – which opened its facility in Airdrie in 2020 immediately after operating a profitable branch in Medicine Hat – not only introduced household the concept of community involvement and accomplishing something for other people, Massey mentioned, but “the a person factor that young ones definitely reflected on with the full knowledge was the legacy.”

“I’ve been a instructor in the local community for just about a ten years now and a person thing I have recognized – and I have taught significant college the entire time – is oftentimes men and women give youngsters a terrible rap,” he explained. “The young people you should not care they have it so simple. But the fact is they do treatment. They treatment deeply. They just oftentimes need the possibility to showcase that.”


Massey claimed exposing pupils to optimistic local community involvement when they are on the precipice of being an grownup supplies them a far better comprehension of what it means to be a group member.

“They consider that again to their colleges they just take that back into their day by day framework. And then in the upcoming, they apply that to their put up-secondary or to their occupation or to their travels, whatever it may possibly be,” he said. “They see the benefit in creating a powerful neighborhood they see the price in staying portion of a neighborhood. From a teacher’s viewpoint, that’s wonderful. That is specifically what we’re making an attempt to instill – respect for the group and the wish to far better your group.

“To see that modelled by an institution these as McKee Households – and that’s what it is mainly because they have been in Airdrie for 35 many years, just about – to see them offering a damn about young ones, the children see that and feed on that. It is actually, seriously impactful.”

Even though the Constructing Futures software will go on performing with its associates at McKee, Massey claimed the hope is to grow and create potent partnerships with the publish-secondary local community. He explained conversations with SAIT have authorized Making Futures to be additional conducive to the article-secondary institute’s twin credit rating programming. This year’s crop of learners will be the very first to have the chance to concurrently work towards a substantial-college diploma and full some write-up-secondary research.

As Creating Futures evolves, Massey mentioned none of it would be achievable devoid of McKee Residences.

“Those initially young ones that graduated Making Futures eight a long time in the past are completed college or college or university now, or are properly together in their job and life’s path,” he mentioned. “To see them and their impacts and the credit rating remaining given to a system this sort of as this is seriously neat.

“That genuinely goes again to McKee and their willingness to take students into this system and see the gain of a plan like this as not just the neat opportunity, but also the group-developing opportunity.”

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