The criteria for the house has been drawn out on the board by the instructor. Each student’s first draft has been handed in. And mixing together their work to come up with one final drawing is complete.

Now, for 14 students at North Central Kansas Technical College on the Hays campus, it’s all about building a house. It will be a nine-month, one-day project that concludes in May, and the house will auctioned off on campus.

It is part of the class taught by Doug Marrs, instructor of the carpentry/cabinetmaking program. This will be the fourth home built in the program, and the 14 students are the largest group Marrs has worked with. All of it is part of the class’ one-year curriculum.

“We have a really good time building this,” Marrs said. “They’re quite a team after nine months. (This group) has already started falling together as a team now, which we like. It takes a little time, and then they become a team, relying on each other and working together.

The house will be a ranch-style home, just as the other houses have been, and most of the size will be the same. It’s 1,920 square feet will have a 30-by-64-foot dimension. There will be a cathedral ceiling, and for the first time, the house will be wheelchair accessible with its larger doorways. It will have three bedrooms and a full, three-quarter and half-size bathrooms. The interior will have rustic cherry, same as last year.

Every year, the group tries to use a different siding than the year before, and Marrs is always looking for the new style that is dependable. This year, the siding will be Hardie-board, which is concrete, and it is what was used for the first house. Last year’s house had a new style PVC siding.

“There’s a lot of storage area,” Marrs said of some of what the house will have in it. “Any place we can put a linen cabinet or closet we will … . There isn’t one spot in that house that isn’t used for something.”

Most every part of the finished home is done by the students at the school, which includes plumbing, heating and air-conditioning, and electrical installation.

One main purpose of the students doing the project, Marrs said, is it gives them a real-life experience. It gives them a real idea working as a team in a profession that has a hiring rate that is high.

“There’s always jobs in the construction business right now, so that also helps,” Marrs said. “Have a 100-percent placement rating. If they want to find a job, it’s no problem.”

Anyone outside of the college is welcome to visit and watch construction being done on the house. Progress on the house can also be viewed online at