By ANNA MONROE
Students, faculty and staff from the Construction Technology Program on Amarillo College’s East Campus hope to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness in Amarillo by building tiny homes.
Professor of Construction Technology, Ernie Sheets came up with the concept for the tiny homes project.
“So when we came to AC, I pitched the idea for them to do this. We worked on making it a part of the program,” he said. “These tiny houses are being built paralleling the construction students’ class time. Students in the program earn three certificates that can be completed in just less than two years,” Sheets said.
In a February 2023 news story from KAMR Amarillo, data presented to the Amarillo City Council showed the rate of homelessness in Amarillo increased from January 2022.
Sheets said the tiny homes will not only lend Amarillo a helping hand, but also provide students with the ability to grow and further aid the community.
“It provides a place to start out and get back on your feet,” Tanner Clark, a construction technology major, said.”
Sheets said 13 students are involved with the tiny house project. Seven carpentry students and six construction technology students.
The Carpentry and Construction Technology Program provides students with an in-depth, hands-on learning experience. “The tiny houses have been a neat official project for the students because they will be able to see every aspect of the build,” Sheets said.
“Just learning something from start to finish is great,” Josue Trinidad, a construction technology major, said. “This is a project that we started from nothing and kind of put together ourselves. It’s cool seeing the process go on.”
While the tiny homes vary depending on size and amenities, Sheets said the program sells the houses at close to the cost of materials for $6,000 and that two tiny homes have already been sold.
Sheets said the tiny homes are 72 square feet and feature a one-room, open concept layout, just big enough for one person. He also said each bathroom has a combo bath and toilet similar to a small RV setup.
They have three tiny homes left but plan to have six more built and ready to go by the end of next spring. “We are going to keep one as a promotional item. It’s going to be pulled around to go to any school or parade or anywhere we want it to go. I’m excited for people to see that we are doing some things like this with our program to interest students to come and join us.”
For more information about the Carpentry and Construction Technology Program or about the tiny homes project, contact Ernie Sheets at 806-335-4221.