Life as a casita

By: Daniel Johnson, Staff Reporter | Photos By: Jonathan Gamboa, Production Manager

Applied Science students use technical skills to build a hosue

Students enrolled in the Applied Sciences programs are building a house as part of their edu­cation, said Full-time Carpentry Instructor Lino Moya.

The casita, which sits in a lot just south of Ted Chavez Hall on Main Campus, is a two-term con­struction project that involves sev­eral Applied Science classes, he said.

From start to finish, it will be completed by stu­dents, which allows for complete hands-on experience in areas of their educa­tional study, he said.

“The students start with a shell but what they do with it is up to them,” said Moya.

P a r t – t i m e A r c h i t e c t u r a l Wo o d w o r k i n g Instructor Joseph Hirschfeld said the experience is some­thing the students need because it allows for easier job placement when paired with the educational experience the students will receive.

“The Carpentry program will build it, Woodworking will make the cabi­nets, electricians will wire it and the plumbers will lay the pipe,” said Hirschfeld.

Moya said that the students will gain experience in constructing the frame, roofing, insu­lation, drywall, tape and texture, paint and finish, installing cabinets and install­ing trim.

“We literally build a whole house from start to finish, bottom to top and frame to key in lock,” he said.

Co n s t r u c t io n Technology Major Logan Harris said that students are working on installing fram­ing nailers around the window frames.

Next, students will hang drywall on the interior walls.

Working on the project has been an amazing and educa­tional process, he said.

“Going from an open lot to building a frame and putting a roof on top, this is something I want to do for the rest of my life,” he said.

Carpentry Major Gabe Raab said it is wonderful to get an opportunity to prac­tice hands-on car­pentry skills.

Working with other Applied Science classes to complete the build­ing allows students to build something from the ground up in a real-world work experience, he said.

The project is designed to give students the complete scope of a construction job in a short amount of time, he said.

Harris said he recommends this class to students interested in the trades and who want to learn and expe­rience step by step what it takes to build a house.

Moya said the casita will pass inspection and qual­ify as a residence anywhere within the state of New Mexico because it has been designed to with­stand wind and snow.

“Once com­pleted, it will have a Southwestern feel and décor,” said Moya.

The casita will go up for auction and, once pur­chased, will be put on a foundation and become a permanent residence, he said.

It will be the buyer’s responsibility to set the foundation and move the house to its new location.

The auction for the casita will run in the Albuquerque Journal business section.

The proceeds received from the sale of the casita will help to pay for the next house building project, said Moya.

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