BOCES students in Saratoga Springs get big opportunity with tiny house

March 14, 2019 07:00 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Some of them aren't old enough to drive, but they're building a home. It's all part of a high school project.

Building a so-called "tiny house" is a giant opportunity for these BOCES students.

"I think it's an awesome opportunity to learn new skills," said Osie Johnston, a 12th grader from Galway who wants to be a high-voltage lineman.

They're handling every aspect of the home -- carpentry, plumbing, HVAC, carpeting, tiling.

It'll have many of the standard amenities of a larger home -- kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, laundry.

"And then when you get the carpet in, you get the tiles and everything, you're going to be just like, 'Wow, I did that,'" said Analda Joseph, a Mechanicville High School junior who aspires to be a civil engineer.

Someone will get a home and students get the experience.

However, there's another benefit to projects like this -- builders get access to much-needed employee prospects who know what they're doing.

"Our job is to help make sure the workforce of the future is being trained and that students have pathways to real careers," said James Dexter, superintendent of WSWHE BOCES.

Doug Ford, vice president of Curtis Lumber, said he hopes projects like the tiny house inspire students to pursue careers in building.

"Without the young people getting into the trades, we're going to have a real issue down the road and we're not that far off," Ford said.

The plan is to have it finished by the end of the school year and then Habitat for Humanity will use it as a tool to raise awareness for the need for more affordable housing.

"I am so looking forward to the opportunity and all of the attention it's going to get," said Adam Feldman, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Northern Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties.

They plan to display the finished tiny house at the Washington County Fair in August and the Saratoga Showcase of Homes in the fall. Feldman says they might auction it off when they're done.


Mark Mulholland

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