Purchase photos

Student project up for auction

5/16/2013

By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN

dobrien@dailynews.net

Students don't often show up for school activities after graduation.

Doug Marrs said he won't be surprised if he has 100 percent attendance at such an event Saturday.

The 11 students of Marrs, instructor of the carpentry/cabinetmaking program of the NCK Tech-Hays campus, will watch as the house they built this school year is auctioned.

The auction by Bob Munsch and Associates Real Estate and Auction of Hays is set for 1:30 p.m. at the NCK Tech campus in northeast Hays at 2205 Wheatland.

Marrs was the instructor for the carpentry program for the last student-built home at the Hays campus in the mid-1980s. But when the construction industry took a dive with the slumping economy, the program was suspended in 1984.

"I think there was one house built in Hays in 1985," said Marrs, who started his own remodeling company.

Students in the carpentry program attended school at the technical college's Beloit campus.

NCK Tech reinstated the program in Hays four years ago and brought back Marrs as the instructor.

Students worked on numerous remodeling projects the past three years, and last year the school began promoting the 2012-13 school year would feature building a home.

Enrollment for this year's class more than tripled from the previous year, and Marrs had students making plans from the first day of school in August.

"I give them the outside dimensions," Marrs said. "Then they are on their own to design a three-bedroom, two-bath house."

The 1,860-square-foot ranch-style home entirely was designed and built by the students, with a few exceptions such as blowing in insulation, building trusses for the roof and laying carpet.

Otherwise, we "built exterior walls, learned about siding, shingling, setting all the trusses," Marrs said. "We sheetrocked, taped, painted, textured, stained and lacquered the wood."

If it didn't meet Marrs' standards, "they would tear it out."

Students in Jason Leeds' plumbing, heating and air-conditioning program installed the plumbing, while the electrical work was done by students from the electrical technology program, under the direction of instructors Alan Hill and Keith Bunger. And students from the bricklaying program in Beloit set the foundation.

Marrs said an open house for the home last week was well-attended, and he has given several tours of the home by appointment.

The buyer is responsible for moving the house off its current location by early September, as well as sales tax and a heating/air conditioning system.

"We think for the size of the home and the demand for houses and the cost factor, it will make someone a really nice home," said Marrs, who expects the auction to be well attended, including several students.

"This is the highlight to nine months of work," Marrs said. "Probably every one of my students will be there. It's their house, not mine. They will want to see what it sells for.

"They have pride in it. And they should. I was pleased with what they came up with the overall design, and the workmanship was tremendous."