Upward to 120 South Lenoir High School students come to class with hammers, saws and drills – and the big goal of building the school’s first tiny house by early April.
The Tiny Blue Devil project combines hands-on learning for students in Frank Emory’s Construction Technology classes with the satisfaction of building something new.
“It’s a good opportunity for all of them,” Emory said of his students. During the end of this first semester and the first couple of months of the semester that begins in late January, students in all grades and representing a range of skill levels will work on the 10-by-20-foot tiny house while also working on a traditional 2,000-square-foot house.
Emory’s classes have built 10 of the larger houses in the past 11 years, but have never before tackled a tiny house, itself a relatively new concept in back-to-basics living that’s gained popularity thanks to exposure through television and social media.
“It’s something new to do,” said Ruby Covarrubias, a ninth-grader in Emory’s beginner class, called Core, which focuses on tool identification and proper tool use. “I like it.”
The tiny house on wheels – it’s being constructed on a donated trailer – is a project of South Lenoir’s Career and Technical Education program. Construction of the tiny house, as with the traditional house, incorporates lessons in core and sustainable construction, carpentry, green building and unique trends in construction fields.
“This is going to a fun project bringing together students, administration, and teachers,” Emory said. “It will be an opportunity for staff and students to give their time and building talents while working as a team and partnering with our local businesses to take advantage of a new opportunity.”
Businesses that have already signed on as partners include HH Farm Supply/Triple C Trailers, which provided the trailer that is the house’s foundation; Onsuvilla, which provided roofing; and LP SmartSide, which provided building materials.
The house itself was modified from a design by Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, which donated the building plans to South Lenoir.
The project is also getting assistance from Andrew Odom, managing editor of Tiny House Magazine and a writer for Tiny House Blog and Tiny House Listings, both. He is also founder and host for the 2017 TinyHouseNC Street Festival in Pink Hill on April 21-23.
The Tiny Blue Devil will be featured at the festival and, if things go according to plan, sold there.
A photo album of construction getting under way is at www.facebook.com/lcpsnc.