CLINTON – If you turn on to Student Drive in Clinton you will see a cul-de-sac of brick houses and one empty lot. If you didn’t know better, it would look like a developer is taking their time building a new housing tract. But the houses on this street aren’t built by a huge […]
CLINTON – If you turn on to Student Drive in Clinton you will see a cul-de-sac of brick houses and one empty lot. If you didn’t know better, it would look like a developer is taking their time building a new housing tract.
But the houses on this street aren’t built by a huge company – they’re built by Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) students.
The house sitting at 8201 Student Drive is the newest addition in a decades-long project and is the 40th house built by PGCPS students. Standing at 4,400 square feet, the Chesapeake custom home holds four bedrooms, five bathrooms, an office space and a partially finished basement. It will be listed at $425,000 following the dedication ceremony on May 5.
The house and the Student Built House Project were created through a partnership between PGCPS, local business partners and the Foundation for Applied Construction Technology for Students (FACTS). Students completed every single aspect of the houses from initial construction to cabinetry and interior design.
Rhonda Taylor, an instructional supervisor at PGCPS, said the overall project started in 1981 with the purpose of giving students an opportunity to develop their skills.
“I think it was about the community wanting to give students an opportunity to develop their skills and then have something to show at the end of it,” Taylor said. “It is about teamwork. You learn to work as a team. You learn to work as a team and that can be transferred to any type of career you want.”
While working on the house, students are able to refine the skills they’ve learned in the classroom and have an opportunity for hands on experience with HVAC systems, plumbing and electricity. Some students are even offered employment after the house is completed.
“We sent quite a few resumes to different companies. They called them in for interviews and we do have some students that were called in for possible employment,” Taylor said.
Taylor said she is always amazed to see the development of the house over the course of the year. She said she loves to watch the patch of dirt on the property turn into an amazing house.
Once the house is completed, a different class of students will have the opportunity to hone their skills. Interior design classes at multiple schools across the county also take part in completing the house by staging furniture, selecting window treatments and decorating.
Sheila Wright, the interior design teacher at Parkdale High School, is in her second year teaching interior design and her second year on the project.
“What I like most about this project is it is student driven. It allows the students to find themselves and even for a student taking interior design who is not going into the field of interior design, it gives them the opportunity to see the direction they can go,” she said.
Wright’s students had to submit a floor plan to be a part of the student-built house project. They had to design a master suite on a budget and show how their room would come together.
The importance, Wright said, is to show students that what they’re learning in the classroom can be and will be applied in real life.
“It all comes back to math,” she said.
Iyonna Young and Tia Hayes are both design students at DuVal High School and on April 28, they, along with their class, were at the home putting together the designs so the house would be ready by the May 5 dedication.
The two worked on window treatments and were debating a few different curtain choices.
“It was really fun. Interior design is not what I expected,” Hayes said of her design class. “It was just a good learning experience, to know that there are other careers out there.”
Hayes said putting the house together has been a challenge because all of the students have different personalities and they are designing the house to be appealing to the masses.
Young said overall the experience has been a good one and she is thankful she had the opportunity to apply her skills and knowledge.
“It just really helps me in the long run,” she said. “It’s so useful in everyday life.”