Hartford students' home building project underway

In an average high school classroom, you’ll find a whiteboard and desks – but some students at Hartford Union High School are learning in a different space.

Thirteen students are helping build a home through the Hartford VISION project. On Thursday, Sept. 1 the students, Hartford Rotary Foundation Inc. and VISION House Project held a groundbreaking for their latest project.

"We did renovations on a home last year, so this will be our first home build," Hartford senior Mitchell Klein.

SIGN UP TODAY: Get daily headlines, breaking news emails from FOX6 News

Money from the Hartford Rotary Foundation helps make it possible.

"You get to be outside. What better classroom in the world than to be out here," said Hartford construction architecture teacher Mark Murphy. "It gets a little cold in the winter time."

Hartford Union High School students take part in home building project

The foundation for the one-story Hartford home off Red Oak Drive has been set. Next, the students will do everything from the wood framing to window installation.

"It’s part of the school day. We’ve got about a two-and-a-half hour window that we’ve got to come out to the job site," Murphy said.

It's not every day that you hear about 16- and 17-year-old high school kids building a home, but they really know what they're doing. And there's more to the program than building homes. The VISION House Project said students also learn things like budgeting, expenses and acquiring a loan.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Get breaking news alerts in the FOX6 News app for iOS or Android.

"They get to work with contractors. It opens doors to job opportunities for them," said Murphy.

Even a former student, who graduated from the program 21 years ago, said it had a major impact on his life.

"I built houses and did that kind of stuff for about 12 years, and then decided to go in the other side of the counter, and now I sell to the guys that I used to be," alumnus Chris Werner said.

Hartford Union High School students take part in home building project

As for the current students, construction on the home starts Friday, Sept. 2 and continues through early June. Then, it's time to find a buyer to help them continue the homebuilding process for future students.

"I just like it when it’s all complete, you know, and I can say I designed that," Klein said.

It will be the 24th home built by students through the project.