Students in the DeKalb County High School Construction Technology (building trades) program are making great progress on the latest home now under construction.
Up until two years ago, all homes built through this program were constructed on lots which had been purchased by the school board for this purpose. This meant that students in the class and their teacher would have to load up on a bus and travel back and forth between the school and the construction site each school day until the project was completed.
But now for the second time, a home is being built on campus at DeKalb County High School. When it is completed, the house will be sold and the owner will have it moved to his or her own lot.
Class instructor Gary Caplinger told WJLE Thursday that students began work on the home, a 1,456 square foot structure, in the latter part of fall and expect to have it finished by April. "It's a three bedroom, two bath house. Its 26 x 56. We're at the point where we lack having one small wall having all the interior walls, all the walls done and completed. The next step is we're going to align the walls and get them straight. After we do that we'll probably put on the house wrap. And then we'll start putting the trusses up. After that we'll put the decking on and the shingles and then we'll probably pretty much be finished at that point. We will set the windows and doors and do the house wrap on the exterior part. This house will be finished for vinyl siding," he said.
Before the first on-campus home was built in 2011, Career and Technical Education director Brad Leach addressed the school board on the reasons for building these houses at school. "The on-site building brings the building back to the campus at the high school. The students don't need transportation. Tools don't have to be transported. Everything is done right there close to the building trades classroom. The students are within walking distance. Its actually in between the band tower and the bus garage. We have a permanent footer and foundation where the house is constructed. After that, whoever wants to buy the house, they are responsible for paying for the house at the price that the construction teacher sets. The buyer is then responsible for all costs of moving the house and taking the house to wherever lot they want to put it on," he said.
Since the home will have to be moved, some finishing work will be required by the owner once its relocated. "Its to be roughed in on the inside. It will be roughed in for plumbing. It will have the windows and doors in it and the roof will be covered. It will have a shingled roof. Its just a basic house. The reason it's a basic house is because when you go to move that and you've done a lot of interior work you could have some problems inside so its just a basic shell. I would call it a dried in house with the rough ins done," said Leach.
"The buyer will have a lot already purchased most likely," said Caplinger,. "He will build a foundation and he will set this house on his foundation. I think its really a good deal for anyone that's looking to buy rental property or maybe they want to live in it. It is a good cheap way to go. Hopefully, when we get this one finished and put it on the market and sell it maybe we can start a new one by the fall semester," said Caplinger.
Once completed, the school board will likely accept sealed bids on the sale of the home. Money from the sale will go back into the building trades program to start another house.