PHS building trades students dig in on second spec house

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About a dozen students in the PHS Building Trades Program began work Wednesday morning on their second spec house in the 2100 block of Otley Avenue.

Students in the Perry High School Building Trades Program braved Wednesday’s cold rain to start working on their second spec house in the 2100 block of Otley Avenue.

The students builders, led by PHS Industrial Technology Instructor Chad Morman, had their work cut short last spring on their first spec house at 2114 Otley Ave. due to the rise of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, but the fall class is moving forward with the second home.

In order to support the program, the Perry City Council approved on Aug. 17 the gift of the lot for building the second spec house. The second lot lies directly west of the first. Each lot’s value was assessed at $11,780 in 2020, according to county records.

The lot at 2108 Otley Ave. is one of seven along the north side of Otley Ave. between 10th and 12th streets that the city intends to give to the PHS program. The council approved giving the school district the first lot in September 2019.

The PHS students earn college credits for the class at the DMACC Perry VanKirk Career Academy, which also provides the construction tools for the program.

As each house is sold, the school recoups the construction costs — and secure profits — and these are used to finance the next year’s house. It is estimated one house per school year would be built, with most of the houses ranging from 1,200 to 1,400 square feet.

Some portions of the construction requires licensed or bonded work and has to be done by a contractor. For instance, foundation work, connecting to utilities and some other duties is be done by students, but all carpentry, interior wiring and plumbing, drywall work, insulation and most other required work is done by PHS students.

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