Scout builds shelter to help Penn Hills bus riders
A local Boy Scout found a way to help his neighbors while also beautifying the community.
Penn Hills High School freshman Noah Houghtelin, of Boy Scout Troop 891, erected a bus stop shelter at the corner of Frankstown and Duff roads.
Houghtelin, 15, said bus riders need protection from the elements.
“I saw a bunch of people outside of my church sitting in the rain,” said Houghtelin, a member of nearby Zion Lutheran Church on Frankstown. “I thought I could help them by blocking them from the harsh sun or the rain.”
For Houghtelin to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, he was required to show he could manage a service project from beginning to end that would benefit the community.
His responsibilities included obtaining permits, creating a design, purchasing equipment and lastly, building the structure — which took three weekends to complete.
Ron Buckner, the troop's advancement chair, keeps watch on the progress of scouts' projects as they work toward promotions. He said Noah's decision to do a project to help people he doesn't know shows the teen's personality.
“(The shelter) shows a good bit about his character,” Buckner said. “He's thinking about the community-at-large and wants to help the people who may not be driving by protecting them, rather than them standing in the rain.”
Houghtelin had to seek approval from the nearby McDonald's in the Forward Center plaza, and from Penn Hills code enforcement and Zion Lutheran.
After receiving the green light, he contacted Lowe's for assistance with the project.
The home improvement store gave him a 30 percent discount on lumber and materials needed for construction. Shingles for the roof were donated from nearby Liberty Roofing and Penn Hills Rental loaned a post-hole digger.
The scout said he added some solar panels on the roof and a light under the shelter for visibility at night.
Houghtelin said the church told him it has received calls inquiring as to who built the shelter. There have also been inquiries about scouts repairing other bus shelters in the community, much to the delight of the soon-to-be Eagle Scout.
“I just get satisfaction from everybody liking my project and using it,” he said.