Not many students graduating from high school can say they helped build a house as part of their curriculum, but more and more Sherwood High School graduates can add that feat to their résumés.
In late April, as the work was coming to an end on Bowmen House III, the third single-family home constructed under the leadership of SHS woodshop teacher Jon Dickover, a dozen students were busy during their class period putting the finishing touches on the stunning two-story, 2,128-square-foot house that features four bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms.
Every day the students work on the house, they have to make the short trip from the school to the site located at 15824 S.W. First Street (at the roundabout near the Sherwood Library), where another house will be built on the adjacent lot starting next year.
Of course, professionals such as plumbers, electricians and roofers had a big part of the construction project, but the work of the students is evident in every room of the house.
In fact, there was a bit of a scramble to finish the house on April 28 as it was going up for sale May 27.
In the kitchen area, Ben and Nick were working on a slab of wood destined to be the desk top in the office off the entry, explaining they had already planed and sanded the top. "But first it took two days to remove the bark," Nick said.
As they sanded the rough bark edge of the desk top, Dickover walked by, and after running his hand over it, suggested they make it even smoother.
Both seniors also worked on door and window frames and closet shelves.
In the side yard, Emma, a senior, who was working on a Bowmen house for the first time, said, "I thought it would be cool. I wanted to work on a house to see how it's done."
Another senior, Madison, said she had already taken all the woodshop classes at SHS, "and "'D' (Dickover) said I should do this. It's pretty fun. We recently installed the kitchen cabinetry."
She added, "The most frustrating part was the original tile that was ordered was too small, and we had to take it out. Then it took longer to get the bigger tile and install it."
Emma explained, "We put in the wood floor and the siding inside the house, the doors and closet shelves and the tile. And we made the outdoor fireplace."
She explained that when the students come to the house each time, "We can jump in wherever we want. Everyone pretty much does every job. There's a little pressure now because I don't want to be in the first class not to finish on time."
Junior Ashlynn, who took woodshop last year, said, "I enjoyed creating stuff. I worked on the master bath tile and kitchen. I worked on the framing for the doors, and my favorite part was framing the windows.
"Once you get it down, it becomes kind of like a rhythm, and it goes faster and faster. Sometimes we have to wait to ask 'D' a question because there is only one of him."
On the front porch, seniors Brett and Matt were working on the angled porch pillars, and Brett has the distinction of working on Bowmen houses for six trimesters.
"I worked on the last house as a sophomore, and I knew I wanted to do this all the way through," he said. "It's cool to see it go from start to finish. I liked learning how to frame a house and how easy it is to put up a home – it is simpler than you would think. It's fun to learn and how to read blueprints."
Matt explained, "I always had a knack for this kind of stuff. All I've done is finish work. Doing the trim is fun, and installing the windows and floors is a good way to get experience under your belt. I'm going to go into construction over the summer."
As they put another piece of the four-sided pillar exterior into place, Brett said, "It's turning out pretty good. I've never made a post like this before."
Many businesses donated products and/or services to help support the Bowmen House program. Todd and Leslie from the McCabe Real Estate Group and Keller Williams will again be waiving their listing fees and donating their real estate commissions back to the program.
To learn more about the Bowmen House, like the Bowmen House Facebook Page.