The Home Builder’s Academy, a new course at Harrisburg, offers a chance for students to explore construction while giving back to their community. Harrisburg’s Home Builder’s Academy was added last year and currently offers two classes for students to take: Introduction to Construction and Residential Construction. Intro. to Construction teaches about carpentry while its follow up, Residential Construction, focuses on wood-frame construction. Students in these classes learn through a mixture of classroom lessons, hands-on activities, field trips, and guest speakers in order to better understand the skills needed and used in construction. Each semester the classes also complete several projects. This semester Mr. Derek Wynia, who teaches classes at the academy, plans to complete a full-sized single-family home along with one or two backyard sheds.
Beyond the fun projects and trips, the Home Builder’s Academy offers students interested in construction the opportunity to find where they might fit best. According to Mr. Wynia, these classes are good to take because “the introduction class will teach you many of the skills you would need as a homeowner. If you are interested in a career in construction, but just not sure where you might fit best, then residential construction is an opportunity to answer that question as a high school student.”
These classes are also a simple and easy way for a student to get involved in construction while giving back. Harrisburg partners with various non-profits, like Affordable Housing Solutions, in order to fund building projects; however, donations and grants are also used to purchase land and materials. Before building even starts, its location has already been purchased. The process makes it possible for these homes to be affordable for community members who could otherwise not afford a home. After a student has completed the year-long curriculum, students can partake in internship opportunities with contractors in the area. Although, additional classes can be added if enough students are interested.