Pensacola State College students recently constructed a 500-square-foot home as part of their applied technology programs. Students from the electrical, HVAC, and carpentry disciplines worked together on the house, and an incoming plumbing class will participate in the fall semester.
Harold Riffel, carpentry instructor, drew the blueprints for the house, and the students turned his drawings into reality. Riffel says the students who worked on the house are top-notch and on their way to solid careers.
“Regardless of the economy, we have to have housing and people to build it and fix it,” Riffel says. “This is the carpentry project, and the other trades participated. The students even measured and cut the rafters, which is uncommon these days.”
In addition to learning practical skills, Riffel’s carpentry students are trained in OSHA and CPR. He also prepares them for the Florida Ready to Work test, which, once passed, gives the test-taker a credential acknowledging their skills and employment readiness.
“We emphasize employability, safety, and quality,” Riffel says. “This was an extraordinary group. They showed up early and stayed late to build this house.”
For training and budget purposes, students used screws when building the house so that it could be disassembled and the materials reused for future classes. Because the house was constructed inside a campus building, the highest points of the roof remain unfinished to give clearance for florescent lighting that hangs from the building’s ceiling. Otherwise, the house looks like a professional construction project, complete with vinyl siding and quality windows.
“Everything’s built to code,” Riffel says.
For more information, contact Danny Steele, head of Pensacola State’s Engineering Technology Programs Department, at 850-484-2522.