Carpentry foundation class students from the College of New Caledonia Lakes District Campus (CNC) are performing a major renovation at Kenny Michell’s home in Burns Lake. Michell was seriously injured in the January, 2012 explosion at the Babine Forest Products (BFP) mill.
Michell continues to recover from his injuries. He is in good spirits, but continues to live with the aftereffects of that terrible night written on and within his body.
His home had undergone some access renovations under direction from WorkSafe BC, like the addition of a wheelchair ramp, a sliding power lifter to assist with navigating stairs in his house, and accessibility renovations to the bathroom.
Michell’s son, Ken Michell, saw the need for more work around his dad’s house. Already in the carpentry foundation program at CNC, he proposed the class consider renovating Michell Sr.’s house.
Approval for the project came quickly, and Michell Sr. moved out of the house so that CNC carpentry instructor Gary Muir and his 12 member carpentry class could get to work. Babine Forest Products helped with the cost of materials, and the CNC crew got to work shortly after inspecting the house on Nov. 19, 2013.
“It’s a great project,” Muir said. “The crew is very enthusiastic.”
The entire interior – excluding work already done by WorkSafe BC – was gutted, both the main floor and the basement. Insulation needing replacement was replaced, vapour barrier and drywall were installed, and Muir has already begun working on new kitchen cabinets.
“The move for Kenny and Theressa [Michel] back into their house has been a long and complicated process,” said BFP’s Canadian regional operations manager Ian Gray. “We felt that these final renovations would be the finishing touch and would help make that move home more rewarding and enjoyable for Kenny and Theressa.”