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Building trades class to start another home

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Justin Peterson, student writer

The 2008-09 juniors and seniors, under the instructions of wood shop instructor Jeff Dravis, have started to get plans approved by the state and have the floor built for the 1,456 square foot house single story house.

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Dravis was hired by the Park Rapids School District four years ago. He previously worked for the Industrial Technology Department in the Staples School District. He brought the housing project from Staples to PRAHS when he was hired. He started the building trades class because he feels it gives the students a knowledge of all the processes that goes into building a house.

"It gives them a fall back plan if other things in life don't work out," he said.

The house is a single level 1,456 square feet house with three bedrooms, two baths, a laundry room, a kitchen and dining room. The house will have v-groove and the cabinets are made of either oak or alder wood. The house has to pass the state's most difficult codes and is inspected five times. The state inspects it three times and then there are two electrical inspections.

Prior to the actual building of the house, there is a bidding system to see who will hold the contract with the school for electrical, plumbing and the lumberyard that the school will buy all the materials. The lowest bidder will get the contract. This year's bidders are Marchell Electric, Ackerman Plumbing and Heating and Northland Lumber.

At the end of the year, the highest bid is taken. The minimum bid is the cost of materials and costs for the electrical and plumbing work.

The cost to build the home is on average $45,000. The objective for this project is to break even in costs; any left over money goes back into the wood shop, either to buy more materials for the next year or to buy or repair tools in the shop. Last year a shaper was purchased with the extra money.

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