The house that high school students built

Building for a better a tomorrow. That’s literally what students at West Iron County High School have been doing for the past nine months. ABC 10’s Danielle Davis went to Iron River to see the results first hand during the High School Building Trade Class’s very own open house.

How many West Iron County High School students does it take to build a house? Apparently 18….plus a great instructor who once took the same class himself. The former student turned teacher says hands on experiences like these are the best way to learn.

“Doing math problems in a text book, repeating the same thing over and over, it teaches the concept but it doesn’t teach them how to actually apply it to something. That is what we are doing here, teaching these kids why they learned everything they have learned and how to apply it to something,” said Jeff Swenski, Building Trades Class Instructor, West Iron County H.S.

Two days into the school year, students left the classroom and headed out for some practical education. From laying out the blue prints to hammering in the last nail, each classmate proudly showed off the fruits of their labor at today’s open house.

Some of the students said that when they started the project they could barely read a measuring tape, but by the end of the school year, they built this house.

The finished product: a four thousand square foot home with 3 bedrooms, 2 and a half baths, a double kitchen sink, a jacuzzi master bath and a sunroom. The Johnson’s new digs were tailored to their specifications and even come with that new house smell.

“It’s cool to stand back and see what you did in the school year.  Normally you look back and look at your school work but this class you get to stand back and look at a house you built for someone, it’s really neat to see,” said Colton, Kurtz, West Iron County High School.

The program can be extremely beneficial for new home owners. They supply students with all the necessary materials, and they take it from there; building up their hands–on education with real world experiences that will last a lifetime. In fact, its so popular that the waiting list is now over 20 years long.