Kennett tiny house taking shape; community help

Kennett tiny house taking shape; community help needed
Posted on 03/01/2018
Cail explains measuring techniques to Logan EldridgeLloyd Jones

It's said it takes a village to raise a child, and it also could take a village in order for Paul Cail and his advanced building trades class at Kennett High School's Mt. Washington Valley Career and Technical Center to complete the tiny house project they are working on.

The tiny house project, the second one students have done in two years, is coming together nicely — it’s a little bigger than the 2017 version; however, work still needs to be done before the Eagles can call this house a home.

During the 2016-17 school year, four schools competed in the Tiny House New Hampshire initiative. Besides Kennett, they included Alvirne High School in Hudson, Seacoast School of Technology in Exeter and Huot Career and Technical Center in Laconia.

The New Hampshire state lottery launched a scratch ticket game called "Tiny House Big Money" in January, and the house that took first place was to go to the winner.

The Eagles finished second in the statewide contest at the 50th N.H. State Home Show at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester on March 18-19, 2017.

The winning school was Huot of Laconia, which utilized members of the Lakes Region Home Builders Association workers to complete its tiny house.

While nothing in the rules forbade using professional help, Kennett's house was almost entirely student-built.

The Eagles did receive financial help from the MWV and N.H. Home Builders Association.

This year's project is not part of a competition — the Eagles plan to sell the tiny house and put the proceeds back into building another tiny house next year — but they again are in need of some community support.

Topping the wish list, Cail said, is some sort of gas heater; cabinets; a shower; a donation of time from an electrical contractor and a certified plumber; as well as financial assists to help stage the home for sale.

“This community is always so great to us whenever we have a need,” Cail said Wednesday. “We could really use a little help to get to the finish line.”

Kennett’s first tiny house was posted on eBay, where it sold for $25,000 — to whom, school officials don't know.

Cail is not sure of the value of this year's tiny house, though the school has already received a couple of inquiries.

“I think what I’d like to see us do is have a Realtor come in and look at the house and determine a realistic value for it,” he said.

Cail and his students have targeted the second week in May for completing the project.

“We want to have it on display for the Home Garden Flower Show at the Fryeburg Fairgrounds on May 19-20,” Cail said.

Kennett's tiny home last year totaled 192 square feet and included a living room, kitchen, bathroom and sleeping loft.

This year’s home, said senior Jack Sequin, totals more than 210 square feet and is actually 6 feet longer and 6 inches wider, with a larger loft space. It also will have a living room, kitchen, bathroom.

Joining Sequin on the project are classmates Shiloh Ayotte, Sonny DaBica, Derek Dascoulias, Logan Eldridge, Andrew Evans, Eathan Frye, Shane Gauthier, William Green, Nathan Higgins, Ethan Lane, Wilfrid McAuliffe, Jake Tagliaferri and Luke Taylor, along with seniors Dylan West and Neil Harrison, who are participating as part of an independent study.

Ayotte, Green, Harrison and Sequin are lead builders.

“It’s coming along, but we’ve had a couple of setbacks,” Sequin said Wednesday. “Some of the rafters weren’t cut flush as we wanted.”

With that problem ironed out, Sequin and his colleagues are trying to create as much storage space as possible.

Eldridge, a junior, worked on last year’s house and this one.

“It’s a good experience,” he said. “I work outside doing construction, too.”

His favorite part, he said,  was “getting all the beams set and put in," and the hardest part was “building grates on the ends (where the overhang sits after the rafters)."

Cail said the siding will be a combination of cedar slates and clapboard.

“The investment that my students have made has been great,” he said. “This is a pretty special project for all of us. They are staying after school, work during study halls, and I even had six of them in here on Saturday working.”

“This is competency-based education at its best,” Virginia Schrader director of the MWVCTC, said. “You can’t get any better example than this. These students are all gaining real-world experience.”

The career-tech center is seeking cash and in-kind donations. Platinum-level sponsorship is $1,500; gold level, $500; silver level. $250; and bronze. $100.

Anyone wishing to help should call Cail or Schrader at (603) 356-4370 or email Cail at p_cail@sau9.org.


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