BUCKHANNON — The Fred Eberle Technical Center has a program every year where the students build a house and then auction off the home. The proceeds from the auction go straight back to the center to help fund program the next year.
This year is different because of the June 2016 flooding that devastated West Virginia and left at least 1,200 people homeless. Disaster Recovery with the West Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church partnered with Fred Eberle and purchased the house before the auction to give the home to a family of four who lost their residence in the flooding. Rev. J.F. Lacaria said the United Methodist Church has been working with tiny homes and technical schools across the state to put new houses in the Clendenin area.
“We began to be really conscious of what the technical schools were doing when the other technical schools across the state manufactured tiny homes,” Lacaria said. “And we had been a part of placement of the tiny homes throughout the flooded area.”
The center provided two classes for the project — its carpentry and electrical courses had 45 students and two teachers dedicating their time to the house. The retiring director of the Fred Eberle Technical Center, Dr. Mike Cutright, said he is happy the school helped do their part for flood relief.
“I think it’s a great project,” Cutright said. “We’re very excited that part of Fred Eberle will be there for hopefully many years to come.”
The students who worked on the house said they all worked on every part of the house, and student Matthew Parker said the experience has inspired him for his future.
“After I graduate I plan to get an apprenticeship,” Parker said, “which helps more people by building houses and doing more community work.”
The home is scheduled to be moved to its designated location in June after the National Guard has removed debris and helped lay the foundation.