WOODSTOCK — The Shenandoah County Public School Board has approved an agreement to allow Triplett Tech students to build homes with Blue Ridge Habitat for Humanity.
“We are very invested in career technical education,” said Matthew Peterson, executive director of Blue Ridge Habitat for Humanity.
“These programs get kids energized, and it creates a workforce. It is very important,” Peterson said.
Blue Ridge Habitat for Humanity, based in Winchester, normally works in Winchester and Frederick and Clark counties but expanded into Shenandoah County in August after the Shenandoah County chapter for Habitat for Humanity was dissolved.
Peterson said Blue Ridge Habitat is used to working with students, having built nine homes with Winchester’s Handley High School in 20 years.
The organization, he said, has not yet been able to develop a lot of relationships in such a short time, so the agreement was critical to allowing them to start building Habitat homes more quickly.
Blue Ridge Habitat and Triplett Tech will partner to build a 1,300-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath home on a lot at 262 Shenandoah St., Mount Jackson.
Blue Ridge Habitat will pull all permits and be responsible for the material cost, Peterson said, adding that students should start working on site, beginning with foundation work, in March.
Triplett Tech Principal Connie Pangel said the school’s students have built modular homes, which are sold at an auction and moved to the buyer’s property.
Those homes, however, did not involve the masonry program as modular homes are moved to the site where the foundation is already set. Pangle said in working with Habitat, all three trades — masonry, carpentry and electrical, will be involved.
“Our instructors are so excited,” she said. “They have not had that opportunity in years. They are actually starting with the foundation on site; they will brick the home, wire it. This is much more exposure.”
And while Triplett Tech students have been building homes for years, this is different. “There is an emotional difference from building a home for auction,” Peterson said.