|Loudoun County Superintendent Ed Hatrick, School Board member Bill Fox (Leesburg), students and other officials cut the ribbon, officially opening the Monroe Technology Center’s student-built Aldie House. Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Andrew Sharbel|
Home buyers in the ever growing Dulles South area will soon have a new home hitting the market that holds special meaning to the students of Monroe Technology Center students.
Six years ago, Monroe Technology Center students began building a home to learn skills in the fast growing field of home construction.
On Sept. 27, students, faculty and Loudoun County Public Schools administrators attended the formal dedication ceremony in the driveway of the home.
To build this home, students fought through a recession, bad weather and other issues that postponed the finishing of the project. This particular house is the ninth home since the inception of the program in 1988.
While this home took six years to construct, the other homes took approximately two years to build.
“The Aldie House” is also the largest and most complex build undertaken in the program's history at 5,000 square feet.
MTC Building Construction teacher Andrew Campbell said students participating in the program are set to begin building their 10th home soon on Prince Street in Leesburg.
Campbell estimated that approximately 100 to 150 students contributed to building the Aldie home.
Students in building and construction, masonry, welding and other trades conducted most of the construction.
“This is a really cool program. It gives the students a lot of pride,” Campbell said. “Probably 90 percent of this house was built by students who had previously never picked up a hammer or saw.”
Tony Witt, was one of those students.
Despite having already graduated, Witt returned for the dedication ceremony to see the finished project.
“This is really exciting. It looks really good. I worked on this home from when it was nothing but a hole in the ground until I graduated,” Witt said.
According to Campbell, students would leave school at 10 a.m. and begin working on the home around 11 a.m. every day. They would work until 2:15 p.m. – with a lunch break – and return to school.
Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Ed Hatrick is proud of the project and what it represents, despite the extended build time.
“To see this project culminated represents, I believe, probably the most outstanding example of cooperation anywhere in the public school system and maybe anywhere in Loudoun County,” Hatrick said. “There is no better example of the power of cooperation and collaboration when people come together to create a meaningful lasting project. The students who worked on this house will be able to come by someday with their own children and say I helped to create the Aldie House.”