By Matt de Simone
Botetourt County’s future builders remain hard at work.
During the 2020-21 school year, the students in Botetourt Technical Education Center’s (BTEC) Building Trades program began work on a new “Books2Bricks” project in partnership with the Botetourt Education Foundation.
The students held a ribbon-cutting ceremony last November welcoming the Botetourt community to see the groundwork they laid for the project. Now, as spring “springs” upon the county, the house on Ridgley Lane in Fincastle has gone from block to built-up.
The students still have a way to go as the project’s completion date isn’t until sometime in 2023. However, the progress made by students from James River, Lord Botetourt, and Craig County High Schools in the last couple of months is near-staggering.
“I’m pleased with the progress so far,” Building Trades teacher and on-site manager Phillip Simmons said when recently asked about the project.
Simmons’s Building Trades class at BTEC has constructed modular homes on the Botetourt Technical Education Center campus for the past nine years. During this time span, six modular homes were built and sold at public auctions. The first build took place from 2005-07 at Santillane Phase 1 just outside Frontier Way, not too far from the current project’s location.
Following spring break, Circle R Roofing Owner Rob Gendreau will be on the site to help the students add the roof onto the house. Country Breeze Heating and Cooling previously helped the students find the floor registers to cut and will return after the break to help lay the ductwork throughout the home.
“We hope to have the house under roof, HVAC and plumbing roughed as well as the brick close to completion before the end of this school year,” Simmons mentioned. “Then, they will be completing the house during the 2022-23 school year to have it ready for sale by May 2023.”