ACE High School introduces latest single-family home | nnbw.com

ACE High School introduces latest single-family home

Duane Johnson | djohnson@nnbw.biz

As northern Nevada's economy continues to grow, more construction is on the way.

But one of the big questions is if the region will have enough skilled workforce in the construction trades to meet the rising demand.

Students from the Academy for Career Education (or ACE High School) have gotten the opportunity to experience those trades by building a 1,540-square-foot single-family home at 4923 Hombre Way in the Donner Springs area of Reno.

Construction on the home began about two years ago and Leigh Berdrow, director for ACE High School, said it should be completed by December of next year.

Volunteer licensed contractors from northern and southern Nevada have been assisting ACE students in the construction of the home. Anywhere from 45 to 60 students work on the home at a given time, depending on the weather and time of year.

It is the ninth time ACE High School students have been involved with the construction of a single-family home.

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"We also did what we call tiny houses and sold all of those," Berdrow said.

The project is part of a collaboration with the Nevada State Contractors Board (NSCB) to develop the next generation of construction workers.

"That's a part of ACE High School's mission is to get kids into the skilled trades," Berdrow said. "It is a really great partnership to be with the Nevada State Contractors Board and have students build the single-family home."

ACE High School and the NSCB hosted a media event on May 23 allowing attendees to tour the home and confer with faculty, students and staff. Reno City Councilman Oscar Delgado was on hand and declared May 23 "Academy for Career Education High School Day."

Berdrow indicated ACE is also on the lookout for future housing projects in which ACE students can partake.

"We're on a mission to find where our next project's going to be," Berdrow said.

Construction costs come from grants from other organizations such as the NSCB with ACE provides the majority of the labor.

For this project, much of the funding came from the NSCB's Construction Education Program, which is paid for with fines levied against unlicensed contractors.

"Viable construction education programs such as ACE High School can apply for these grants," said Margi A. Grein, executive officer of the NSCB. "It has to be a program that improves the education of the construction workforce, either existing or incoming workforce. It's great to see that money from unlicensed contractors going back into education."

ACE High School opened in 2002 and is located 2800 Vassar Street in Reno. It is a charter high school with an enrollment of 200 students that is focused on career and technical education for students. The school provides education in construction trades, as well as in civil or mechanical engineering, automotive service, and manufacturing among others.

Grein and Berdrow talked about thousands of jobs that will need to be filled in Nevada's construction industry by summer of 2019. More information on those opportunities is available at BuildNV.org.

"There's a ton of career opportunities for students in the construction trades and programs like this single-family home project get the word out," Grein said.

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