A new home in Springfield, Va. is on the market for $935,000, which isn’t terribly newsworthy for a five-bedroom, four-bath house sitting on a third of an acre in Northern Virginia, but the fact that the people who helped build it are still in high school is, reports Washington Post staffers Moriah Balingit and Donna St. George.
Fairfax County high school students worked alongside professionals as part of a building trades class to get the job done. It is a classroom as well as a home, where students learned how to cut and install crown moulding, to frame homes, and to install tile and appliances. It provides valuable experience for those interested in becoming construction workers and gives a practical edge to students who want to become architects or engineers.
But it’s not the only student-built house that’s hitting the market in the Washington region. High school students in Maryland’s Montgomery County involved in construction trades classes marked the 40th year of such projects last month when they helped place the cornerstone on a three-bedroom house in Silver Spring that will be priced at $549,000. The home in Springfield is the 23rd constructed by Fairfax County students, who helped erect all the houses on this small cul-de-sac and celebrated the most recent home’s completion with a recent open house.
Both programs involve students in most aspects of home construction, such as framing, flooring and installing the ceiling fans, giving students exposure to many aspects of the construction industry. While both programs were started in the 1970s, there is a growing recognition that the kind of hands-on training they offer is important for high school students, particularly those who want to start work immediately after high school.