Maybe most people would not have a whole lot of confidence in buying a house that was built by high school students, but Penn’s Building & Trades program has 53 years of experience building quality homes … that’s right, Penn students have been building homes for commercial sale since 1969! Click to read past web stories on the program’s previous home builds. A total of 28 Penn students (19 working the a.m. class shift and 9 working the p.m. class shift) collaborated to build this year’s house in the Newbury Point Subdivision.
Penn FACS Teacher Kylee Wetzel and Penn PE/Health Teacher and Track Coach Chad Wetzel bought this year’s home. As the 2021-22 school year was winding down, the Wetzel’s were in high gear moving into their brand new 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom house with their three young children and dog. We visited with the Wetzel family in early summer as they were starting to get settled into their new home to find out more about the process of building their home. Click to see the full photo gallery below.
As Penn teachers, they were familiar with the program. They also knew many of previous Building & Trades homeowners. They decided to buy the home through the program two years ago, but due to COVID, they decided to wait until this school year.
Because the Wetzels prebought the home, they had the opportunity to be involved in the layout and design concept of the house working with Building and Trades Teacher Les Crooks from the very beginning. They really wanted the four main bedrooms on the main floor in a ranch style home. They couldn’t find a house with that layout, so they took the challenge to Penn Building & Trades. Kylee actually sketched the layout on a legal pad and Mr. Crooks sent it off to the architect to have blueprints made. They continued this process until the Wetzels were happy. The house also features a finished basement and a mother-in-law suite. The Wetzels say this is their forever home and they designed the home with retirement and empty nesting in mind.
Being able to provide Penn students with a project based learning experience was an added bonus for Kylee and Chad, two teachers themselves. “We would 100% recommend and truly enjoyed working with Les and the students. We got to know them quite well and some even voluntarily helped us more,” said Kylee.
Interested in buying a Penn Building & Trades home, you might be in luck. For the 2021-22 school year, the program is supposed to build two home!. If you are interested, please contact Les Crooks at lcrooks [at] phm.k12.in.us ().
The Wetzels are THRILLED with their new home. Click below to see all the images of the finished product in the photo gallery below.