Chesterfield students building a home

By Melissa Correa - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Forget textbooks and desks, a group of Chesterfield students are on-location building skills one piece of lumber at a time, and they're helping the community while they do it.

Power tools and problem-solving -- two of the many skills these kids are taking home as they build a house from the ground up.

"It's not like regular school where you have to listen. You actually get to do it by yourself," said senior Kevin Roban.

"I really like the framing aspect of it," said senior Brendan Fleig.

Both Kevin Roban and Brendan Fleig know their way around a tool belt. They're part of Chesterfield Technical Center's carpentry class, one of several which say this house feels like home.

"They're not just studying some abstract concepts, they're actually seeing how this plays out in real life," said CTC principal Mike Rose.

He says they're building it from the ground up.

"This is an adult residence home for some of the county citizens. And we're using county property that's just been sitting here," Rose said.

"We learn how to read blueprints. They're doing the base board. They're doing the window trim. We're going to be doing a chair rail coming around the dining room," said residential carpentry teacher Dale Wilson.

The students are bused out on even-numbered days, getting a few hours each session to mold their skills.

"It creates an atmosphere so when they do enter a job site they know exactly what to expect," Wilson said.

Brendan and Kevin are learning a lot and don't plan on setting down their tools any time soon.

"You get hands on time that you wouldn't get in the classroom," Brendan said.

They and their classmates are thrilled disabled adults will soon be able to call this 4 bedroom 3 bath place a home, on one condition: no crazy paint colors.

"Yeah. Crazy colors are not that pretty," Kevin said.

Expect the house to be completed June 2010.

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