Tiny homes are a trendy solution to the housing shortage across the country, and building tiny homes is also a great way for students to learn hands-on skills. One group of high schoolers in northern Utah built two and will be selling them Saturday during the CTE Tiny House Expo and Sale.
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“This has probably been one of the funnest classes I’ve ever had, Two Rivers High School student Dalton Richmond told ABC4 Friday afternoon. “(It’s been) the most hands-on and stuff. I’ve learned a lot of skills from this class and I think I’m going to use it later on in life.”
Richmond is one of more than 50 students from five different high schools in Weber School District who spent the school year building two tiny homes in a workshop located behind Weber Innovation High School in Ogden.
“They’re proud of it,” construction teacher Ryan Ortega said about the completed tiny home. “These are skills that they’ll use. Whether it becomes a career or not, these are skills they can use throughout their life and it’s been really fun for them.”
This is part of the district’s career and technical education program, or CTE as it’s better known. Building tiny homes is the newest addition to the program.
Interior design teacher Maren Malan explained that when teachers told students about the upcoming construction project “their enthusiasm just went up.” During the project “they kept telling me how much they loved being part of a hands-on project that’s actually something that’s real,” Malan said.
While construction students built the two houses, interior design students were put to the test decorating and staging one of the homes. Construction on the second tiny home (including electrical and plumbing work) is finished, but the interior work will be left undone to allow its future tenant to decide what it will look like.
On Saturday, the district is hosting the CTE Tiny House Expo and Sale. During the event, potential buyers will get to tour the inside of both tiny homes and make a bid. The expo will be held at the Weber Innovation Center (1007 West 12th St., Ogden, UT) and goes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.
After spending so much time working on the tiny homes, some students aren’t anxioulsy waiting for Saturday. “I’m going to be sad,” said Bonneville High School student Isabella DeCorso. “I love this place. I love the way it looks.” Her classmate, and fellow interior designer, Allison Bird replied, “I’m okay with it because every time I see a mini home now I’m going to be like, ‘I helped make one of those.'”
With the success of this year’s tiny home project, both Ortega and Malan have seen a large increase in students signing up for their CTE classes. The school district is hoping to expand the tiny home program by allowing each individual high school to build its own.
Next year, architecture students will also be involved in the project by designing the tiny homes from scratch. This year’s tiny homes were constructed using pre-designed blueprints.