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Butte college students build modular homes to add housing while learning

modular home project.jpg
Posted at 11:12 AM, Apr 17, 2024

BUTTE — Some Highlands College students in Butte are actually in their classroom—but this classroom is going to be somebody’s home.

“I started out completely green, so now that I have experience in almost every single field of building a home, it makes me excited about the future,” said Highlands College student Dayvina Johnson.

The two-year college’s construction class last fall started building a modular home to literally give students hands-on training.

“It makes our job as teachers easier because I have something to relate to and I think they are picking up on some of those concepts way quicker than without having that hands-on experience,” said Construction Technologies Instructor Rich Miller.

Student Andy Larson added, “I like working with my hands and learning with my hands, so having these lab opportunities and just taking what you learn in the classroom and coming out here and doing it hands-on is awesome.”

Once the home is completed, it will be sold at a reduced cost.

“Our ultimate goal will be to help out with the affordable housing market in Silver Bow County and the neighboring communities,” said Miller.

The sale of the homes will pay for the next project.

“As long as we can sell and keep on funding the program, we’ll be finishing one a year from here on out,” said Miller.

It gives the students a sense of pride knowing the home will go to use.

“To build something and know it’s going somewhere makes me feel—it makes me want to wake up and come to school on time and I brag about it when I’m not in school,” said Johnson.

Students say this type of learning is preparing them for their future.

“I’ve got internships this summer, I’ve had internships last summer, so you can pretty much walk out of this program and walk right into a career,” said Larson.