CADILLAC—If you ask Kollin Gosney, the career training program that has him shoveling dirt on South 45 1/2 Road in Cadillac, is the best program the Career Tech Center offers.
Gosney, a senior in the Applied Construction Trades program at the Career Tech Center in Cadillac, is helping to build a house for the second time, experience that will serve him well in his ultimate goal of working in construction management.
"I just don't want to destroy my body by the time I'm 35, swinging a hammer," Gosney said in explanation of his career goals. "I'll do it for at least college and then I'll be the manager."
Students in the CTC's Applied Construction Trades have built two houses now; the house on 45 1/2 Road in Cadillac that students began constructing in recent weeks, is the third house the program has tackled in six years; second-year students like Gosney put the finishing touches on last-year's house, which is right next-door.
So far, it's going well, according to Trenton Lytle, a senior who wants to work in the electical field.
"I got to learn a little bit about electrical last year and the teachers are helping me out," Lytle said.
The student crews work in shifts; 20 construction students in the morning and 24 in the afternoon, said their instructor, Brad VanBuren.
Once completed, the houses are sold.
"The school is not in it for a profit," VanBuren said. "Basically, we're doing it for the experience for the kids."
This year's home is meant to be a so-called "starter home" (referring to the kind of person who might buy the home, not the skills of the students). When complete, it will have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, an open-floor plan and will total just over 1,500 square feet.
VanBuren says the goal is to complete the building in Spring 2021.
The long construction time is for the kids' benefit.
"We can take our time doing different parts of the house," VanBuren said. "Kids get a better hands-on experience."