Fred Eberle Technical Center to sell student-built 2-bed, 2-bath house at June 3 public auction

BUCKHANNON – The Fred W. Eberle Technical Center will auction a student-made two-bedroom, two-bath home on June 3.

Rebecca Bowers-Call, director of Fred Eberle Technical Center, said students studying various trades at the school have put their skills to work constructing homes for more than 25 years.

“It’s such a comprehensive project that involves multiple programs throughout the school, and it’s something the kids can see from start to finish,” Bowers-Call said. “They can see exactly what their work has done and what they’ve accomplished. At the end of the project, the hope is they are able to raise a little bit of money for their programs.”

The money raised from the auction goes back into the programs at the school, and a big portion goes into building another home.

“The house is beautiful,” Bowers-Call said of the 1,500 square foot home that features striking woodwork throughout. “This project has taken us a little bit longer than normal because of COVID. We’ve been working on this house for quite a while, so it’s had a lot of TLC. The floors, the wainscoting, the paint — everything is very beautiful. It’s going to be a nice starter home for someone.”

Carpentry instructor Randall Cunningham said the senior and junior carpentry classes worked on the home while the electrical technician class completed the electrical work.

“It’s a very good program,” Cunningham said. “The students are really willing to learn, and it runs fairly similar to a regular construction crew. What we try to do here is provide as much on-the-job training as possible.”

Cunningham credited the students for their professionalism and the quality work throughout the home.

“It felt like something a construction company would do,” he said. “They did a good job on the framing insulation, there’s a very good finish on the sheet rocket, the trim is done very nicely, and the interior doors are all solid wood panel doors. Also, the cabinets that were installed are just like the kind you would find in another house.”

Cunningham is looking forward to next year when the program can operate under normal circumstances.

“Generally we try to do one house per year, so each class gets to do two houses because it’s a two-year program,” Cunningham said. “It actually started before I came here to work, and then we finished it with new students, but they really enjoy doing the work and I’m really looking forward to being able to start and finish all in one year.”

Interested parties can contact the Fred Eberle Technical Center office at 304-472-1259 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday to schedule a tour of the home before the public auction, which is set for June 3 at 6 p.m. at the school, 208 Morton Ave. in Buckhannon.

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