Building a tiny home from the ground up taught students in Ridgeland some big lessons they plan to take with them as they begin their careers.
A group of about 20 students at Beaufort-Jasper Academy for Career Excellence, a vocational and technical school in Ridgeland commonly known as ACE, recently completed construction of a 224-square-foot home complete with a living room, bedroom loft, bathroom and a space for kitchen appliances.
The project, which took two school years to complete, was designed “to show us how to actually build something from scratch,” said Justo Rivera, an 18-year-old student from Bluffton who wants to launch his own a construction contracting firm.
“For me, this project really helped me with managing my time and making sure everything gets done the right way,” he said.
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Brenna Cruz, a 17-year-old student from Ridgeland, agreed.
“You have to be super patient with everything” because this type of project involves regularly managing unanticipated challenges, the aspiring architect said. “It’s really helpful to have hands-on opportunities.”
Shakur Furman, an 18-year-old student from Ridgeland, said he plans to take the knowledge he gained working on the project and apply it to a future career in the engineering or construction fields.
Beyond the technical skills the students learned, the tiny home project helped teach them that “creativity is your only limit,” ACE director Michael Lovecchio said.
Standing inside the house Thursday, Lovecchio said, “This is incredible — I’m just really proud of our students and what they’ve been able to accomplish with this vision and with all their work.”
The school is in the process of attempting to auction off the home.
The starting bid is $22,000, which is roughly the cost of the materials used to build the home, ACE faculty member Brantley Wilson said.
“Once it is sold, the money will go back into a fund for other student projects,” he said.
The next project on deck: a collaboration between ACE’s culinary and automotive students to rebuild an old food truck.