The tiny home built by students from Technical Careers High School. | Andrea Olson, EastIdahoNews.com
IDAHO FALLS — After months of anticipation, students at a local high school are ready to showcase a tiny home they have built in an event for the public starting Thursday.
Around 40 students from Technical Careers High School in Idaho Falls have been working hard for the past five months since February, building a tiny home to show at Parade of Homes, a local event put on by the Eastern Idaho Homebuilders Association. Click here to learn more about Parade of Homes.
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“I mostly helped build the frame of it. I helped with the roof as well. I think it’s really cool that we are able to do something like this and we get to show it off to other people and show, ‘Hey our school exists, we are amazing, you should come join!’” said Leilani Alvis, a 12th-grade student at Technical Careers High School.
The tiny home is about 140 square feet. The tiny home will be outside of one of the houses for Parade of Homes built by Odyssey Homes located at 4836 Sunrise Lane in Iona.
Building a tiny home has been a challenging but rewarding project for everyone involved.
“I love seeing kids excited about learning and them just being proud of what they’ve done.”
“It’s a house on a small scale, so you have to think of how to save space and how to maximize your use of space. It’s a little different than traditional home building because you have to think outside the box a little bit,” said Kyle Wright, a construction and cabinetry teacher at Technical Careers High School.
Wright said the project was a joint effort, and he wanted to expose the kids to a complete picture of carpentry. The kids have built a lot of sheds before, but those projects have focused on framing. With the tiny home, plumbing and some electrical work were involved.
Andrea Olson, EastIdahoNews.com
“We put a loft in there. The bathroom is going to have a composting toilet, which will be interesting. It will save us on some plumbing there,” he said.
According to Wright, it is the first time the students have shown their work at Parade of Homes.
“We are excited because people are going to be able to see that we have a construction and a cabinetry program at our school and maybe they will want to get their kids over here and see what we can offer them,” said Lyndon Oswald, Technical Careers High School principal.
Oswald said the project was made possible by generous donations from the community. It started with a $10,000 donation. Donations have been given by the Eastern Idaho Home Builders Association, The Professional Building Contractor Licensing Review Board and A Pro Plumbing.
“I think when it’s all said and done, I think we can pull this thing off for about $18,000, which is amazing for a tiny home,” Oswald said.
The tiny home will be used as a showpiece around elementary schools after the Parade of Homes to show kids around the district what type of classes are offered at Technical Careers High School so that they can jumpstart their careers. There are plans for the tiny home to eventually sell to a buyer who is interested in it.
Currently, the exterior is finished but the interior is not. The goal is for students at the high school to finish the interior this school year so that it can be shown in next year’s Parade of Homes. Next, year people in the community next year will get an inside tour.
Wright said he is proud of the students’ work.
“I love seeing kids excited about learning and them just being proud of what they’ve done. I feel the same way when I drive by neighborhoods where I’ve helped build those houses. I’ll always point that out, and I will for as long as I can remember, and so I think the kids will do the same thing. They will always remember the work that they’ve put in, and they can be proud that they did a good job,” Wright said.
Alvis said she was grateful to be a part of a project like this one, which gave her the opportunity to learn new skills. She hopes to land a job once she is finished with school.
“I am hopefully going to get a job soon in carpentry and after that, I am hoping to either keep that job or get a job in cabinetry,” she said.
The Parade of Homes begins Thursday, Sept. 15, through Sept. 17 and from Sept. 22 to Sept. 24 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Click here for more information.
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