SIERRA VISTA — A pandemic did not stop this group of college students from finishing construction and development of a house, which is used as a learning opportunity for students.
“The objective is to teach students how to build a house from the ground up,” Cochise College Residential Construction Instructor Doug Schlarbaum told Herald/Review. “This is our second year of doing this house building program.”
The house, located at 314 N. Second St., is a three bedroom, two bath with a patio and garage. It took the group two semesters, during the fall of 2019 and spring of 2020, consisting of 32 weeks of planning and construction.
The house will soon be on the market and the money will go back to the Cochise College Foundation to help financially support building the next house.
“It’s not for a big profit,” Schlarbaum said, “We’re just trying to put some carpenters out in the workforce. This is a field for everybody.”
The group was down six students but still managed to finish the house despite the delay of over five weeks, according to Schlarbaum.
“The governor shut us down for a little over four weeks and some students withdrew,” he told Herald/Review.
“Some of our students didn’t feel comfortable and we didn’t push anyone to keep doing it,” he said. “But they’re pretty proud of it and they’ve done a lot of hard work.”
One of the students, Lucas Milloy, 27, said he gained experience and overcame unexpected challenges as the project progressed.
“It definitely helps your confidence with things, because at the beginning, things like the nail gun were very intimidating,” Milloy said. “So probably half of us have (used one before), and we just got more comfortable using it and we’re able to do it every day.”
Milloy said the crew wore masks every night while working and made sure they could safely continue working on the project.
He said it was a great program with helpful and insightful instruction.
“I was actually taking pictures of the process and I went back and looked at the first picture and the last one,” he told Herald/Review. “And it’s just crazy how we were able to build this.”
Cochise College will host a Facebook live Q&A about the Residential Construction Program on Thursday at 2 p.m. hosted by Schlarbaum and Rod Flanigan, the dean of business and technology, said Sharrina Cook-General, the college’s media coordinator.
The foundation is also proud of the work the students and staff accomplished.
“We’re excited for the students whose talents are on display, and we’re proud of the dedicated faculty and staff who have made possible the construction of something lasting for homebuyers in Sierra Vista,” Denise Hoyos, executive director of the Cochise College Foundation told Herald/Review in a statement.
Hoyos stated there are plans underway for a third house that will be located on the corner of 2nd and Tacoma.