Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

April 8, 2013

Construction Trades finishing 11th Knoxville Habitat house

Steve Woodhouse
Journal-Express

Knoxville — Students in Jordan Downing's Knoxville High School Construction Trades class were working on their latest house, located at 501 South First. This house will be the eleventh built by KHS students during its partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Marion County. 

"We'll complete a house throughout the entire school year," Downing said. This home is located on one of the properties obtained during a recent neighborhood stabilization project in Knoxville. 

Downing, whose background is in construction, said building these homes provides the students with "real world experience." Students are also receiving credit through Des Moines Area Community College. 

Those who take the class receive instruction on different construction practices, then watch it done on a video. Finally, they are able to apply what they learn on an actual house. 

Downing has two sections of the class, which lasts two class periods each. He spends half of his day working on the house.

In further compliment to his students, Downing said a number of them have spent multiple Saturdays, volunteering their time, to complete the house. 

The program expanded to Pella four years ago. Pella will be the site of the next Habitat house. As for KHS Construction Trades, another home will be built in Knoxville during the 2013-14 school year.