Class West Holmes Building & Trades gears up for home auction

MILLERSBURG – High school students learn many useful skills that prepare them for the next stage of life. But few see a project they invested two years in becoming something special like the custom-built home. Building & Trades class will go up for auction at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 12 at West Holmes High School.

Tim Miller from Kaufman Real Estate and Auctions manages the sale of the house for the B&T program. He sold the last three houses produced by the program.

Tim Miller

“They do these houses every two years, and this is the third I’ve personally been involved in,” Miller said. “I think the kids are doing a wonderful job with these houses. What they learn in the building trades are skills that will help them throughout their lives. It’s good to see them doing something so positive.”

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Building and Trades Instructor Dave McMillen talks about the construction of a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home his students built and are ready to auction.  McMillen spoke to visitors at an April 28 open house at West Holmes High School.  Ashland County West Holmes Career Center instructor John Staats was among the visitors.  The students also built a model of the house, which facilitated the construction.

B&T instructor Dave McMillen and his students hosted an open house on Thursday, April 28 at the recently completed three-bedroom, two-bathroom modular home that sits on the northwest corner of the high school grounds. West Holmes.

Students in the class guided visitors through the house, sharing ideas about the role they played in the construction of the house, from wiring and drywall to making the custom cabinets and countertops in the whole house, as well as plumbing and other nuances.

This year’s house is rare because instead of the traditional two years of the project, it took three years to complete due to the pandemic and the remote learning that occurred in 2020.

The house was built on two trailers, which allows the buyer to have the house delivered.

Hope the house sells for at least $70,000

McMillen hopes the house will sell for at least $70,000. The previous three homes all sold for between $65,000 and $85,000, according to Miller. The money is then used to buy the materials for the next house, which the remaining students and new students in the program will build over the next two years.

McMillen oversaw the construction of four houses during his tenure at West Holmes. The first home build sale he oversaw was in 2015. He is continually amazed at the quality of the product the students have been able to build over the years.

Many open house visitors shared the instructor’s enthusiasm for what they saw.

Sharon and Les Miller from Kidron were among the visitors to tour the house and see what the students have been up to.

“I think it’s amazing what these kids can do,” Sharon said. “They’ve put a lot of time into this project and they’re very proud of the work they’re doing.”

Judy Mengel of Millersburg was also impressed with the work she saw.

“I’m very impressed with what I saw here,” Mengel said. “These kids have done a great job.”

McMillen shared how he was in the school’s sixth grade band at Triway. He played bass drums, but admitted he struggled to keep up.

Teague’s obituary:Roxanne Teague

“A few years ago an amazing woman by the name of Roxanne Teague, the phenomenal band teacher for years and years at Triway, called me to tell me that a cherry tree had fallen in her garden,” said McMillen. “She asked me if I wanted it. We picked up the cherry log and had it sliced, and now we’re building a counter out of it.

“All of these pieces, the cherry countertops in this house are made from Mrs. Teague’s cherry,” he continued. “She just passed away. I was really saddened by her death because I wanted to show her what her tree had been transformed into by those students.”

A great learning experience for construction and trades students

Derrick Patterson is one of the seniors who invested a lot of time in the house project. He enjoyed working both indoors and outdoors, learning new skills along the way, including teamwork and other social skills.

“This project took a long time, but it looks really good,” Patterson said. “It’s a huge accomplishment to watch this now that we’re done. We didn’t just build and install all the cabinets, but we painted the tops of the cabinets once, didn’t like the color, then we repaint each one after sanding them down.

“I plan to get into this type of work and it has certainly helped me a lot in my future projects,” he continued. “It’s a good start for my future. To know that I played a part in that is crazy.”

West Holmes Building & Trades senior Dillon Miller talks about the special counters the students made and installed in the house which will be auctioned on Thursday, May 12.

Senior Josh Carter said he enjoys working on drywall indoors and also enjoys hanging siding outdoors.

Dillon Miller is another senior who hopes to apply what he learned in the building and trades program. He enjoys doing electrical work, but he also enjoyed learning about other aspects of construction.

“We all learned by doing something different every day,” he said. “It’s a great experience to be able to do that, like one day we’ll be working on drywall, and the next day we’ll be doing electrical work, or something like that.”

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