The buildings and trade class of Iowa Central Community College completed construction of its 14th home in Alta recently; Kevin and Barb Pingel are now residing in their new home located off the the Alta Golf Course.
Under the direction of instructor Kim Piercy, the class gives participants a good understanding of the construction process - from mere boards and nails to a completed structure through hands-on work.
The newest project is 1,850-square feet with an additional 2,000-square feet tied up in a three-car garage and shop. The project began at the start of the school year in which some classroom work was taken part in; the hands-on work, of course, was the favorite part of the course for those who participate.
"They did a terrific job and we're proud of their work," said Kevin. "We've always been impressed with the houses the kids have built (in this class)," he said of the reason why they wanted their home to be built by the students.
An avid wood worker, he added that he loves to see the kids taking an interest in woodworking as well.
"We had great confidence in Kim and we knew they would do a good job," Kevin added, saying that it was also a cost savings to them in the long run.
Piercy discussed the financial end of the projects. The Alta Industrial Board are the backers, buying the lot, materials and picking the blueprint, unless the home is presold, which it is in this case, and the owners select the lot, pay for materials and provide a blueprint. Barb's daughter drew up the plans and the location was ideal as the Pingels are avid golfers; they can see the fareway from any of the large windows in the home.
The houses are finished with no trims or frills, allowing the purchasers of the house the opportunity to complete the house in the colors and cabinets they choose - which Kevin has had fun doing. The interior of the home utilizes walnut, black walnut, oak and cherry wood for a rich flavor.
The students get a hand in the plumbing and electrical fields as well. Before the house is turned over to the new owners, an inspection is completed to make sure everything is up to par as it should be.
The building and trades participants come from Alta, Storm Lake, Newell-Fonda and Schaller-Crestland. With a group of over 31 students, and to meet the open time slots for the as many interested students as possible, Piercy has two two-hour sections - one in the morning and one in the afternoon. He complimented all the schools involved who are willing to adjust the schedules of the students wishing to take part. The students taking part in this ICCC-sponsored course receive college credit, at no cost to them. And by the way, girls are not excluded, though the numbers of buys participating in the course are way higher.
This year's participants were - SL High School: Alex Senesoury; Jose Murillos, Brandyn Phillips, Aaron Kavan, Benly Xanenty, Joe Chanthavysouk, Jose Palmerin, Kyle Evers, Lucas Wiley, Daniel Vargas, Khao Vongeeuane, Jesse Boger, Andres Espana, Josue Martinez, Jason Schreier, Lamthong Sounarath, Joel Fiquera, Juan Floes; Alta High School: Matt Robbins, Scott Robbins, Chris Peterson, Morgan Van Houten, Jake Bibler, Bryan Bengston, Gerardo Martinez, James Mitchell; Schaller-Crestland - John Limbert.
"They did a very good job and we're very pleased with the work they did," Barb said.
A project is already being planned in Alta for next school year, Piercy said.