A home constructed by Fairfax County high school students is now on the market as part of a program that helps teens build up their resumes.
“It really provides the real world experience for students,” said Chad Maclin, program manage for trade and industrial programs the Fairfax County Public School System.
The house on 7005 Springville Court in Springfield is one of 21 homes students have built in the 42 years that FCPS' residential construction program has been running.
It’s done as a partnership between the school district and the nonprofit Foundation for Applied Technical Education (FATE). Maclin is the executive director of the program.
“Our model is we always have two homes under construction, one in rough carpentry one in finished so they can see all aspects of production,” Maclin said.
Over 90 students from eight different high schools helped work on the home. The program attracts students from all over the county, but typically students who attend high schools nearest the worksite have the easiest time getting there during the school day. How long students are on the site depends on their class schedule.
Students who can participate in the program must be at least 16 years old, so they are usually juniors and seniors. They work under close supervision of professionals, who take the students through every aspect of building a home.
“Our goal first and foremost is providing exploration for our students…Students who want entry-level construction were able to find construction jobs,” Maclin said. “Students who want to go into architecture or engineering jobs are able to build up their resume.”
They get hands-on experience in floor and wall framing, hanging doors, reading blueprints, laying foundations, and other work.
The home students most recently finished working on in the Spring Village Estates is located on a 13-acre community near Spring Village Drive and the Fairfax County Parkway. The property is owned by the school district.
“It’s land that was supposed to be a elementary school site, but when the parkway was built it cut it in half and made it unsuitable for a school,” Maclin explained.
The 6 bedroom, 4 bathroom home is being sold for $824,500.
“I think they are much better built because they use top materials and they don’t cut corners like a for profit builder would,” said real estate agent Greg Stiger, who is managing the sale of the property.
The home has granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, and large walk in closets. It’s a universal design home, which means that it incorporates features that make the home more accessible to homeowners who are disabled.
Stiger said that initially homebuyers are weary of purchasing a home built by students, but once they see the home that thought is changed.
“I think the perception of the homes has been very positive,” Stiger said. “It’s not like the kids are left to run amok in the house. Everything is looked over and approved, and of course the house has to go through Fairfax county inspections like any other home.”
Proceeds from the home sales go back into the program and toward scholarships for students.