Wawasee Building Trades Home Nearly Completed
By Keith Knepp
SYRACUSE — On Tuesday, May 23, the building trades class at Wawasee High School offered the public a chance to see the project they have been working on since late last September.
Located at 15328 CR 50, Syracuse, the single-family house is nearly complete and should be ready for the buyers to move in within the next few weeks.
The building project has been led by Pathways CTE instructor Aaron McKinley, who has been on-site daily, supervising the 24 students who were part of the building process. Two of the students came from Columbia City High School with the balance from Wawasee. The group was split somewhat evenly between juniors and seniors.
“This house is a little over 1,500 square feet,” said McKinley. “Three car garage, three bed, three baths. It will have a finished basement later on. It’s a pretty basic ranch home. That’s what we try to stick with so the students aren’t overwhelmed, so I’m not overwhelmed. I’m like the general contractor, teacher and foreman for the project.”
McKinley said the house is actually a Menards home kit, which means they have all the material listed out and the builders do not have to create their own blueprint. It will be owned by Mark and Rachel Moore.
“Students who take this program should be interested in going into construction, electrical or maybe plumbing, some trade of that sort. But typically it’s carpentry,” said McKinley.
“We try to do a little bit of all those things so they get a taste of all of it. This is the route any student would want to go if they are interested in going into construction. They’re going to learn all the basics for building a home. If they do it two years, they’ll have double the experience. Also, they get dual credits with Ivy Tech for taking this class.”
Students work in two shifts, each about 2.5 hours. This year the students worked five days each week, since the project started later than normal. Ordinarily they have a classroom day on Wednesdays at the school during which they work on the curriculum.
Students can earn certification from the National Center for Construction Education and Research. If students successfully complete two years in the program, they receive credit for five completed courses through Ivy Tech and earn certifications from NCCER.