Teens finish Habitat for Humanity house in time for Christmas

Credit: Ryan Hilliard / KTVB

Teens finish Habitat for Humanity house in time for Christmas

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by Stephanie Zepelin

Bio | Email | Follow: @ktvbstephanie

KTVB.COM

Posted on December 22, 2012 at 11:46 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 4 at 7:01 PM

BOISE -- A group of Treasure Valley high schoolers helped to get a family into their new home before Christmas.

Teaming up with Habitat for Humanity, the group of about 30 high schoolers were determined to get the home built and ready to live in before the holidays.

The students and volunteers sped up the process to make it happen and finished a week early. The group usually takes a whole school year to build a house. This time, they took 120 days because they wanted to make sure one family had a home for the holidays.

The home building project is part of a magnet program for kids from various high schools.

"I always kind of figured it would be kind of nice to know different things about how to build a house and stuff like that, in case I ever run into problems with my own house, my own home," said one participant, Gerron Stirling.

Stirling didn't realize he would be working with Habitat for Humanity until after he signed up.

"I did not realize, and i was actually pleasantly surprised to find out, that we actually build houses for the Habitat for Humanity," said Stirling.

They students work on almost everything for the house.

"From the ground up we start building the floor, we frame all the walls, we do all the exterior work, the interior work, the finishing work, the painting," said Zack Rosse.

They make the houses affordable to live in, by meeting Energy STAR standards.

"From beginning to end, I learned a whole lot of new things, things that i didn't get to learn the first year. It's a lot more realistic knowing that you're actually building a house that people are going to be living in," said Stirling.

When it's all done, the students are there to hand the keys over to the home's new owners.

"It's a really heartwarming experience, I guess, not the sound too cliche. But it's really great to see the family actually get the keys, and they're always so excited," said Rosse.

They get satisfaction knowing they had a lasting impact on the community.

"I think because it's so permanent and it helps out the community because it's not something that you're just going to do one year and that's all it effects, it's going to stay there for forever," Taylor Funk.

This is the third house the group built on Palm Street in West Boise. This one went to a family who moved here from Thailand.

This is all part of a program called Skills USA. Last year, the team placed fourth in the nation out of 39 teams for their work. They'll start on their next home building project in January.

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