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Monday, February 13, 2017

Students are building a house in Annandale

The construction site on Holyoke Drive, Annandale. 
Students with special needs have started construction on a new house in Annandale. The students are in the Building Futures program at schools run by Phillips Program for Children and Families.

The students, along with Phillips administrators, teachers, parents, and business and civic leaders, gathered at the house, at 6459 Holyoke Drive, for a “wall raising” on Feb. 9.

This is what the new house will look like.
Phillips Programs serve students age 6-22 who have significant learning and emotional challenges and who have faced repeated failure and frustration in regular schools. There are campuses in Annandale, Fairfax, and Laurel, Md.

Building Futures offers students academic programming and supportive services while they learn the building trades. Participating students spend half the day in the classroom and then rotate to the job site for the remainder of the day where they learn carpentry, construction design, drywall, plumbing, and landscaping.

The house they are building on Holyoke Drive will have three bedrooms, four bathrooms, a media room, an office or fifth bedroom, an open-concept main level with a large pantry and mudroom, a porch, decks, and a two-car garage, says Phillips spokesperson Shawn Flaherty.

The lot has been empty since the Phillips Program purchased it, although there had been a house there at one time. It should probably take about two years to build the house.

It’s close to another house built by Phillips students last year at 6439 Holyoke Drive. That house sold in October for $592,000.

The walls are going up.
Building Futures is all about the development of job skills, not churning out houses, says Flaherty. The students do most of the work under the supervision of professionals. Some of the work, such as electrical, is subbed out.

The students can earn an OSHA certification, a credential that that makes them eligible for further training or hiring opportunities, along with a high school diploma

2 comments:

  1. What a great program! Happy to hear that these young people are being given the opportunity to learn marketable skills, the value of hard work and the corresponding sense of accomplishment for a job well done. Kudos to them and the program organizers.

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  2. "Phillips Programs serve students age 6-22 who have significant learning and emotional challenges and who have faced repeated failure and frustration in regular schools. There are campuses in Annandale, Fairfax, and Laurel, Md."

    A student who has problems in school still has a shot at a productive, independent future because of programs like this. I only wish there were more of them; it's too easy to write these kids and young adults off as "a loss" and put them in a facility or boot them to the curb. As these all-to-rare school-to-work programs show, there are other, better options!

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