The Porterville Unified School District’s Pathways program has once again started work on the Pathways House Project. Students from numerous Pathways programs work on the real-life project.
In February, 2020, district officials, board members, students and others broke ground next to the already poured cement foundation for the project. Construction and framing was expected to begin after students returned from spring break just a few weeks later. But due to COVID-19 the project had to be postponed.
“We are thrilled students are able to start construction and begin to bring this project to a reality. To say this project is a long time coming is an understatement,” PUSD Pathways Director Cynthia Brown said.
Since mid-November, students from the Academy of Energy and Resource Occupations (AERO, Porterville High School) and the Manufacturing and Construction Technology Academy (MCTA, Monache High School) have been working almost daily on-site to measure, cut, frame and secure exterior and interior walls.
“This is what hands-on learning looks like. Students get the opportunity to learn on a real project that someone will one day call home,” says Tom Reed, Lead Teacher of the PHS AERO Pathway.
Academy of Engineering (AOE, Harmony Magnet Academy) students designed the blueprints during the previous school year, as far back as 2019, in consultation with Dennis Townsend, a local architect with Townsend Architecture Group, who also works with Habitat for Humanity and is a Tulare County supervisor.
“I am excited to see this project finally getting off the ground. It will be a benefit for both students and our community,” Townsend said.
Numerous other Pathways are participating in the project too. The Environmental Science Academy (ESA, Monache High School) will design and install a drought resistant landscape in the front yard. The Partnership Academy of Business/Finance (PAB, Porterville High School) will work with a local realtor on the marketing and listing/sale of the house once it’s finished and ready for sale. And the CODE Pathway (Granite Hills High School) will install smart technology in the house. Other Pathways will also play a part throughout the months-long project.
The Pathway House is expected to be completed in the spring semester.
PUSD Pathways is already identifying other lots in the community to begin construction on another house after the completion of the current project.
“Part of our goal here is to help students apply the skills they are learning in the classroom but also to help improve our community,” Brown said.
The first Cross Pathways House Project was completed in 2018.
Any incoming freshman students interested in joining one of the 14 PUSD Pathways for next school year can apply online at pathways.portervilleschools.org. The deadline to sign up for a Pathway is January 15.