High school home buildersA dozen students at Northwestern High School are putting the finishing touches on their capstone project in industrial arts.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
A dozen students at Northwestern High School are putting the finishing touches on their capstone project in industrial arts.
And soon the public will have a chance to bid on the three-bedroom, two-bath house with an open layout and vaulted ceilings.
Since late September, the students including Thomas Treynka, Billy Hursh, Joseph Nelson, Connor Bayliss, Kyle Hansen, Jake Moniot, Derek Kraemer, Jens Gregerson, Josh Zinmer, Kyle Rautio and Ryan Lind have been building a house from the ground up.
It’s a good deal, said teacher and licensed contractor Joe Letko who guided the construction project.
Bids start at the cost of materials, about $49,900 this year, Letko said.
“Whoever buys the house will have to have it moved, but it goes down the road in one piece,” Letko said.
And the new owners have an option setting the house on a basement. One room in the house was created to provide space for stairs that could lead to a lower level.
An open house is planned for graduation night, May 25, following graduation, and bidding information will be available soon on the school’s website, www.maple.k12.wi.us/high_school/school_house/index.html.
The floor plan is available on the website now.
Students have been building the house annually for the last 49 years. Each year, the school puts the house out for bid and the buyer moves the home to its new location.
“It’s been going on for a long time,” Letko said. For seven hours a week the students worked together to build the house.
He said the house is fully spray foam insulated with Marvin windows.
“This is the first year we’ve built a house with two bathrooms,” Letko said.
The house features an open layout in the kitchen, dining and living room areas, vaulted ceilings with wood panel and inset lighting. The walls are primed and ready for paint, and floors await the treatment the new owners’ desire.
“I like working with my hands,” Hansen said of his decision to take the class. He said he had taken wood technology and metal technology classes prior to applying for the construction class to be part of the project this year.
The courses are required to apply for the home construction class. Students apply for the class much as they would a job, and annually 12 are chosen from the 20 to 30, sometimes 40, applications submitted.
Students must have good attendance and no discipline problems to qualify, and must be a junior or a senior.
“It’s a resume builder,” Letko said.
Hansen said he may go into construction or do something else that would allow him to work with his hands. Building the house, he said, was a good experience for him.
For Connor Bayliss, who was cleaning dried silicon from the surface of outdoor window trim and touching up the trim with paint Friday, it wasn’t the first time he’d been involved in the project.
“We finished this house a lot quicker than we did last year,” he said.
Bayliss took the class last year as a junior and this year took it again as one of the two student leaders who worked on the project again this year.
“I work with my dad in the summers,” Bayliss said, adding that his father is in the construction industry.
“Even if you don’t go into construction, it’s a good lifelong skill,” Letko said. “If you own a house, hey ‘I can put siding on it; I can put a roof on it.’”
Letko said while many of the students don’t know what they want to do when they take the class, within two years, 40 percent of the students end up in trade or technical schools.
“Not many kids graduate and can say I built a house,” Letko said. “They can.”