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Lakeland Building Trades to hold open house


It’s the normal rush to finish off the punch list.

Trim. Check. Paint. Check. Straw on the grass. Check.

The students in the Lakeland High School Building Trades class buzz about the project house that is nearly done, getting everything set for the open house, scheduled for 1-5 p.m. on Monday, May 28. The house is located at 1810W 550S.

The 1,990 sq. ft. home is being built for J.J. and Stacey Egli and their three boys, and is set among an orchard with an abundance of natural beauty around it.

Instructor Steve Sherck noted that the home is single-story with a full walkout basement. The home has five bedrooms, three full baths, and a open design on the main floor, tying in the kitchen and living area.

Sherck pointed out one of the features that make the home stand out from past projects is the reused door trim and transoms that were salvaged from the old Topeka hotel years ago. They give the modern house an elegant, old-fashioned feel.

The home has been the classroom for 20 students since the school year began. One student is from Westview. Six of the 20 are part of the painting and decorating class from Lakeland, who have been working in the afternoons during the last term.

While the weather has been nice for a lot of other activities, it hasn’t timed up well for building a home. “It was raining when it was time to put the roof on. It was cold when we went to do the siding,” Sherck said. “It was never a fit with where we were at.”

Sherck praised his students for putting in over 600 hours of additional time outside of the class to keep the project on track and nearly done. “They’ve been here on Saturdays and after school working on it,” he said. “With so many negative things said about kids, to have them volunteer their own time for someone else is amazing.”

Junior Kyle Eagleson is one of the students working hard to complete the project house, and was busy putting up closet shelving earlier this week. “We come here as often as we can. And it’s hard to leave at the end of the class. When you’re in the middle of something, you want to stay to get it done,” Eagleson stated.

“I was interested in what it took to build a house,” he said about his decision to take the class. “There is a lot more than I thought. But I’ve enjoyed the process.”

Eagleson noted that he loved being up on top of the house putting the roof on, a place that not all of the students took to like he did.

Eagleson said he plans to take the class next year and can see himself doing construction work after high school. “It’s pretty cool to see it go up and know that we put a house up ourselves,” Eagleson said.