PTC students build house to sell

PTC students build house to sell

Students in Piedmont Technical College’s Building Construction Technology program picked out designs and started building a house in January to put what they’ve learned in the classroom to actual use.

Piedmont Tech’s Foundation paid for the land and supplies for students to work on the house for BCT classes, and Fran Wiley, assistant vice president for development, said the Foundation will sell it once the students complete the project.

“One-third of the profit goes to a BCT program fund from which the program can purchase equipment and supplies. One-third goes to a BCT student scholarship fund. The remaining funds go back into the Foundation for use in the purchase of land for the next house,” Wiley said.

The three-bedroom and two-bathroom house sits at 216 Windtree Road and is about 1,900 square feet.

Bobby Roche, director of the BCT program, said the project gives first- and second-year students live training to demonstrate what has been taught to them.

“(It’s) where they can hone their skills on something that has to be done right,” Roche said. “It has to be done right because it’s going to be sold on the open market.”

Roche is the licensed builder who monitors the construction of the house. He said they make the house better than what the building code requires — such as reinforcing the frame with extra plywood.

“It’s a win-win for everybody, because it gets these guys out here, and this is what they’re going to be doing,” Roche said. “It gets them out here and it can actually reinforce what they’ve learned in the classroom and the labs at the shop, and actually do it here on site.”

Students are involved with the house project from the start — Wiley said they have to pitch their ideas to the Foundation, and Roche said they have to pick out house designs that do not look out of place in the neighborhood.

“The students are given hands-on, real-world experience which prepares them for work when their education is complete. For instance, the students have to ‘sell’ the house to administration prior to building it with blueprints and cost estimates for materials and labor. It gives them experience from beginning to end,” Wiley said.

Kyle Morgan, 20, is in his second year in the BCT program and said he has learned new information about construction during the building process than what he took away from just being in classes.

“It furthers our knowledge, most everybody here has done some construction, but it just takes everything to the next level knowing how to do the whole thing instead of just in the classroom,” Morgan said. “I didn’t even know about trusses, I just never really thought about it, but I learned a lot doing that.”

Once the BCT students finish, students with Piedmont Tech’s HVAC department will help install heating and air conditioning.

Roche said the students work well together, and the construction of the house is expected to be done by summer of 2017, but there is not a set date.

“We’re not over here trying to run a competition or anything — we’re over here to teach,” Roche said.

Contact staff writer Ariel Gilreath at 864-943-5644 or follow on Twitter@IJARIELGILREATH.

Published at Sun, 06 Nov 2016 11:11:08 +0000

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