Students in the Careers in Construction program are building their first house
For the first time in decades, students in the construction program will be building homes. It’s an opportunity that has been a long time coming for Widefield School District 3.
“Widefield has a long history of providing vocational skills to students. Before the economy weakened in 2008, the districts’ construction program was thriving, and students were building homes for families in the community. With the opening of the MiLL (Manufacturing Industry Learning Lab) in 2018, we have a tremendous opportunity to revitalize the program,” said superintendent Scott Campbell.
The Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs (CSHBA), and the Associated General Contractors-Colorado (AGC-C), have supported District 3’s construction program since 2017, and are now helping facilitate the process of students building a home through their new 501(c)(3) non-profit, Careers in Construction Colorado (CICC).
Through the CICC Home Build Program, students will construct a modular home designed by Clayton Homes, which is owned by the Berkshire Hathaway Group. Students will use the skills they have learned in the classroom setting: carpentry, plumbing, electrical and OSHA 10 safety, to construct a new home on school grounds. This important relationship with the building industry has provided WSD3 a truly unique community partner.
The building materials for the home build will be donated by CICC, industry professionals will provide on-site support and oversight, and students will have the opportunity to meet and work with officials from the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department to ensure they are building the home safely and up to code.
“I enjoy being a part of an industry that actually creates community. With the construction of each residential property, we have the opportunity to build a place a family will call home, and in my mind, there is nothing more rewarding. For students to be able to build a home in their high school class and apply their skills is such a valuable learning opportunity that we are proud to support,” said Joe Loidolt, President of Classic Homes and Chair of CICC’s Home Build Committee.
The home will eventually be moved off-campus and sold by CICC, allowing students the opportunity to see the full completion of a construction project on a larger scale. Students have already assembled scale balsa wood models as a physical representation of the home they will build this semester. The finished home is 44’ by 27’ and is built in two sections. The floor plan is 1200 square feet with three bedrooms and one bathroom.
“Our partnership with the CSHBA is providing students with valuable industry exposure where they can earn pre-apprenticeship certifications. We’re working to improve Colorado’s workforce,” said Campbell.
The district will be posting progress updates on our website, wsd3.org, and on our social media pages.