Iowa City Area Student-Built House Program Dedicates 2019 Home

The Greater Iowa City Area HBA, in partnership with Kirkwood Community College, today dedicated its 2019 Student-Built House at 2732 Farragut Lane in Iowa City. Keys were handed over to new owner Reach For Your Potential, a nonprofit organization that assists adults with disabilities.

Across five months, 11 students from four high schools and one college received on-the-job training as they helped build the house under the tutelage of the Iowa City Area HBA’s Vocational Training Council (VTC) members and Kirkwood Adjunct Professor Tim Rouse from Durant High School. The VTC assists area schools.

The purpose of the Student-Built House Program is to provide high school and college students technical experience in the building trades to create a talent pipeline of younger, skilled workers within Greater Iowa City Area HBA counties. It’s a way to work toward addressing the continual need for qualified employees expressed by HBA members, and a chance to expose students to occupational options that don’t require a four-year college degree. Students received college credit and their 10-hour OSHA certificate.   

“The Student-Built House is a powerful program for so many reasons,” said Andy Martin of Martin Construction, the 2019 Iowa City Area HBA’s VTC chair. “It’s a collaboration that gives students real-life experience; Reach For Your Potential residents a beautiful, functional, energy efficient home to live in; the HBA and home-building industry a chance to develop the next generation of tradespeople; and the community at large improved industry, housing and education.” 

Students received special Stiletto hammers today courtesy of Hills Bank and Milwaukee tool boxes from McCreedy-Ruth Construction, a key company involved with the build. The dedication capped the National Association of Home Builders Young Professionals Week, part of October’s Careers in Construction Month.

Numerous home-building industry and community leaders were on hand to celebrate, including Dave Leshtz from Congressman Dave Loebsack’s office; former Iowa State Senator Bob Dvorsky; Simon Andrew with the City of Iowa City; and Homebuilders Association of Iowa Executive Officer Jay Iverson. Additionally, Executive Director Ellen McCabe and council member Steve Gordon from the Housing Trust Fund of Johnson County attended. The organization provided the grant that purchased the home’s lot.

The Farragut Lane home is the second build since the Student-Built House Program was reinstituted after an 11-year hiatus last year. A design for the third home is in progress.

Student-Built House participants watch as Reach For Your Potential Executive Director Ron Schieffer performs the new home’s ribbon cutting with two clients who will live in the home.

The 2019 Student-Built House at 2732 Farragut Lane in Iowa City.