Town conveys land for Building Trades Program

Published 5:49 pm Friday, October 13, 2023

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Students in the Isle of Wight County Schools’ Career and Technical Education Building Trades Program have a new resource at their disposal following action taken by the Windsor Town Council on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

Council members voted unanimously at their meeting Tuesday to adopt a Memorandum of Understanding and a resolution approving the conveyance of a small piece of land in Windsor from the council to the Isle of Wight County School Board for potential home construction that students would be involved in. 

The council’s votes followed a public hearing in which no one spoke.

Windsor Town Manager William Saunders shared the details of the land conveyance at Tuesday’s meeting, noting that the council was being presented with two votes relevant to the matter — one on an MOU and another on a resolution to convey the property.

“So the Town Council negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding with Isle of Wight County School Board to materially assist their Career and Technical Education Building Trades Program,” Saunders said. “Specifically, this agreement allows the town to assist the CTE Building Trades Program in the potential construction of a single-family home as hands-on experience for students in the program.”

He said that the town’s assistance comes primarily in the form of conveying to the School Board by deed 0.38 acres, plus or minus, of land located near the intersection of North Court Street and Joyner Town Lane in the town of Windsor and identified as Tax Parcel No. 54-01-019.

“This parcel was previously a well site for the town water system, but the well has since been abandoned,” Saunders said. “Further, this project has the potential to put a vacant property to beneficial use as a new home site.”

If it does not prove possible to build a home on the land due to zoning issues or other complications, the land is still expected to serve as a valuable teaching tool for students by giving them a glimpse of the challenges they may face if they purchase land and aim to build on it.

Councilman Walter Bernacki made the motion to adopt the MOU and also the motion to adopt the resolution that conveyed the land for the benefit of the CTE Building Trades Program.

“I think it’s an excellent benefit,” Bernacki said.

IWCS Director of Secondary Education Dr. Marsha Cale said, “We are very excited about our partnership with the Windsor Town Council and grateful to them for helping us create real-world learning experiences for the students while also allowing us to contribute positively to our school community. 

“We would love to speak with any local businesses in the building trades field who are interested in supporting or assisting IWCS with this project,” she added.

IWCS officials noted that the program will need help with some of the larger aspects of the project, such as clearing the land, digging footers and pouring concrete. Businesses can contact Cale via email at or by calling 757-357-4393.

Cale shared more information on the project, noting that students will have the opportunity to plan, design and build a residential home from the ground up.

“Mr. (Robert) Rodgers, the building trades instructor, will lead the students through all aspects of the construction process, including surveying, permitting and inspection, drafting, pricing and constructing the home,” Cale said. “Once completed, the house will be marketed and sold, thus creating an opportunity for an additional tax-paying resident of the town. 

“The town will be reimbursed the current tax value of the property and associated costs at closing and additional profits will be donated back to the Building Trades Program to start the process over again,” she added.