DATC, Utah Housing, and Davis School District hold ribbon-cutting ceremony for student-built home

New homeowner Adam Fisher used to only dream of living in a house like the one he recently bought through the Utah Housing program. “I feel blessed to get this house,” he said Thursday morning. “It is top-notch.”

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony held at his new home, Fisher said that he couldn’t express his gratitude. Representatives from Utah Housing, Davis Applied Technology College, Davis School District, praised the programs that made the new home possible. 

A year ago, the home was an empty lot. Students, under their teachers’ supervision, built a top-quality home from the ground up, which meant they could let nothing slide. “Mistakes have to be undone,” said Syracuse High School carpentry teacher Rob Wilcox. “I have to answer to the inspector, to Utah Housing, and to this family sitting right here.”

“I’m very proud of them,” said Bryce Chapman, DATC plumbing instructor. He told the audience how hard the students worked, even in 9-degree weather. But their efforts pay off. His students learn valuable career skills while they’re still in high school. “These classes are so essential,” he said.

Wilcox agrees. “We need skilled workers,” he said. He told the audience that he constantly answers calls from subcontractors looking for help. Many of his former students are now successful business owners.

 Through Utah Housing’s Educationally Constructed Housing Opportunities (ECHO) program, students have built 122 homes, which has brought $1 million to the school districts and helped fund their trade programs. This is the 18th such home for the Davis School District. The homes are sold at market price, but a silent second mortgage covers 11% of the purchase value.

“We can afford this house now,” said Fisher. “This is my dream home. We are never moving.”