Concord High School students are building an actual house as their class project. It may be tiny, and on wheels, but it is a real one. The tiny house is built on a 8’ x 20’ trailer. The plans were donated to the class by Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. They are constructing the Cypress Equator model.
Tom Trowbridge has taught Building Trades and Engineering which includes wood shop, construction tech, civil engineering and architecture at Concord High for the past 11 years. “It has always been my goal to provide my construction students with an authentic project.” Tom says.
“In the past, we have built models and mock-ups. Students would learn the fundamentals, but they weren’t learning how to work on a real jobsite. They didn’t learn how a project is staged, built in phases and how it all comes together.” Tom explains.
Basically, with models, it’s tough to see how a small decision early in a project can come back, have to be dealt with… while delaying your progress. By actually building, students also learn valuable safety lessons such as how to work safely on a crew in a sometimes hectic environment.
“I need to point out that when I say we are building, what I really mean is the students are building.” Tom clarifies. This truly is a student project. They have taken ownership of the project and are extremely proud. And why not? Who of the rest of us ever built a house in high school?
“We have had tremendous amount of support from our community for the project. The County ROP program, teachers, parents, and local businesses have come together to get this project where it is now.” Support from Ashby Lumber and West Coast Windows and Doors have been “huge!”
The project is slated to be completed on June 5th as school ends. “What we need to purchase to finish this project by June 5th are plumbing and electrical fixtures and materials. Shower, toilet, kitchen & bathroom sinks, water heater, stove, lights, waterpump and water storage tank, propane tanks, and the materials to plumb and install all of this. The suppliers we had lined up for those donations have not worked out.”
So if you thought wood shop was a thing of the past, Concord High has elevated the game. These are classes that can direct these students on the way to building trade degrees, and skilled high wage jobs.
Once the Tiny House is finished, it will be sold and the money will fund next year’s project. “Each of my students can build on for the rest of their lives with technical and work ready essential skills they learned here,” Tom says proudly.