Habitat for Humanity’s High School Build program is an innovative partnership first developed in Tucson and now replicated at other affiliates across the country. Since the start of our first home at Santa Rita High School in April 1994, the cumulative number of homes built locally on school grounds is 55 involving over 1,500 students!
Over the years, the program has moved from campus to campus. Habitat is currently working with Sahuarita High School.
The construction technology program can be a one, two, three or four year program, depending on the interests of the student. Years one and two focus on safety, the proper use of a wide variety of tools, the math concepts related to construction, and how to interpret schematics, blueprints and technical drawings.
During years three and four, the students work on the house and learn residential framing, plumbing, electrical, concrete, masonry, thermal and moisture protection, window and door installation along with exterior and interior finishes.
When the home is ready to move (completed to about 60%), it is placed on a huge flatbed truck and wheeled through the streets in the early morning hours to its permanent location. The home is not “modular” or “mobile” – it is affixed to concrete stem walls and then finished by volunteers. Any high school student over the age of 16 who has transportation to the site and parental permission can volunteer and see his/her house through to completion.
The High School Build program is a combination of drop-out prevention, job skills acquisition and a college preparatory program.
Studies show that the students enrolled in this course outperform the general Tucson Unified School District population on the AIMS test. This is likely due to the integration of relevant academic material with hands-on engagement.
For the last 18 years – regardless of the school we are working with – the graduation rate for seniors in the construction technology program has been 100%. This is impressive by any standard!
If students choose to go to Pima Community College after graduating, time spent in the construction technology program translates into college credits. The majority of students move on to additional education of some sort. If they don’t, they are able to secure employment since the class is a notable addition to a resume or job application form.
Habitat invites you to invest in the future. We are seeking funding to purchase building materials for the homes under construction at Sahuarita High School. Please visit the Give page and select High School Build to direct your gift to a program with demonstrated results.