South Sioux City students break ground on home construction project


SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. (KCAU) – Some South Sioux City high school students are taking part in a piece of history.

For the first time, students and their school are building a house from the ground up. The school district alongside community members broke ground on a new project Friday morning.

Omar Ponce is a senior at South Sioux city high school participating in the construction class.

“We’re laying down the styrofoam and then the styrofoam holds the concrete and were making concrete homes because concrete home is more like indestructible when it comes to weather-wise,” said Ponce.

He wants to be a guidance counselor someday. He believes the skills he’ll learn from building a house will benefit him later in life.

“If things don’t work out, I would like to be a contractor so I would like to get in the knowledge now, and you know, if guidance counselor does work out, I could always build my own home so that’s a benefit right there,” said Ponce.

The 35 students are building a 1400 square foot house. It will have three bedrooms, two baths, and a two-car garage.

“Throughout each stage of the construction process, one of our workforce partners will be on-site to teach our students the skills and the materials that are used and the process that is involved in their part of their trade,” said Todd Strom Superintendent South Sioux City Schools.

The project and partnerships are an opportunity for students to not only learn about construction but to also get a foot in the door of the industry.

“Every day’s a job interview for them, they’re working with potential employers, and it’s a chance for them to stand out, and it’s a great opportunity where they can see if is this something I want to do,” said Joe Krajicek, an industrial tech teacher at South Sioux City High School.

The district plans to sell the house once it is completed. For the students, it’s a chance to learn and give back.

“I really hope I can build a home someone can love one day,” said Ponce.

The cost of the house is being underwritten by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Students will be spending nearly 15 hours a week on the house, and as of right now, the goal is to have it finished by the end of May 2020.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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