Students build house for town

He said the students do much of the installation including plumbing fixtures, insulation and siding of the home, but that some of the work has to be done once the home is delivered to the site.

In initial conversations with the town, school officials discussed transporting students to the site to complete the project, but it was too difficult to organize the logistics.

McDermith said he would like to see the project moved to a site at some point.

"The shortfall in doing it the way we do is that students don't get to complete the entire project," McDermith said.

He said the school is fortunate to have a program to teach students construction. Typically, these types of hands-on programs are handled by BOCES, but because of Shenendehowa's large size, the district is able to obtain the interest necessary for this type of course.

The district also offers a hands-on automotive class, where students can participate in the mechanical maintenance of a car, according to McDermith.

"It's helpful to the district to keep them here," McDermith said, adding that the district is saving money by not having to bus students to BOCES.

Throughout the year, in a double-period course, students learn construction techniques and how to read architectural plans, McDermith said.

The course is offered to juniors and seniors.

He said an architecture firm provided free design of the home to the district.

McDermith said that usually the home is sold to the highest bidder in a sealed bid through the district's purchasing department. Generally, the district provides a minimum price for the home that covers the cost of materials, and uses the remaining money offered on the bid to the high school's technology club.

This past year, McDermith said, the technology club gave $8,000 toward a $20,000 laser engraver for the technology department.

The club was able to provide $8,000 through the sale of several modular homes. He said the club sees anywhere from $500 to $1,000 in revenue on the homes they sell.


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