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Construction Is Underway on the 'House That Tippie Built'

Construction has begun on a new Habitat for Humanity house in Iowa City, built largely through the efforts of students in the University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business.

The foundation for the "House That Tippie Built" home at 1910 H Street was poured earlier this month and students, faculty, and staff from the college started work building the house's exterior last week. The 'blitz build' portion of the project is expected to be completed Saturday, March 31, and the students will start work on the interior of the home in April.

"We've been spending so much time planning and raising money for this project that it's exciting to finally go out and get your hands dirty and see something happen," said Derek Kimmerle, a senior accounting major and one of the coordinators of the project, which is also known as Tippie Build.

Kimmerle said he wasn't sure how many students will ultimately sign up to participate in the project, but all 20 slots for student volunteers were filled for both shifts last Friday and Saturday, and he expects a similar response for this week. The house, built in partnership with Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity, will become home for an Iowa City couple that immigrated from the African country of Mali, and their two young children.

"This is a great way for university students to give something back to the Iowa City community that will last for a long time," said Kimmerle. "Most of us will be here only for the few years that we're in school, but this house will be there for a lot longer than that and many families will call it home. When I come back to Iowa City in 25 years, I can go see that house and say we helped build that."

Tippie Build began last year, when student members of Beta Alpha Psi decided to undertake a major community service project to honor the many people who have supported the college. The students were inspired by the life-long generosity of the business school's benefactor, Henry B. Tippie, whose 80th birthday the college celebrated in January.

The initiative quickly moved through the rest of the college, with undergraduate majors and pre-majors, graduate students, faculty, staff and administrators helping to raise money and offer their labor. They also decided that the traditional Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity tithe to the international headquarters will be used to sponsor Habitat homes in the African nation of Ghana.

The students began raising funds for Tippie Build last fall and are well on their way to the $50,000 needed to finance construction. The students are continuing their fundraising efforts as well, including a fundraiser at Diamond Dave's restaurant in the Old Capitol Center on Tuesday. They also are selling a line of clothing, dubbed TippieWear, that features the logo of the Tippie College of Business, with the proceeds going to the Tippie Build.


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