That house is probably better built than many around it.They didn't cut corners," said Shirley Bieri, who lives in the Alta Vista section of Bethesda next to a house built by Montgomery County high school students.
The four-bedroom, brick and frame house at 9515 Linden Ave. is the first of several planned in the neighborhood as part of a year-old program to train students in the building trades. About 250 students from 13 high schools, using a professional architect's plans, did the masonry, heating system, and even the landscaping. Subcontractors handled the hardwood floor and dry wall as well as the plumbing because the school curriculum does not include plumbing courses.
The house has living, dining and family rooms, two-and-a-half baths, a deck and an unfinished basement. To complete the house duing the school year, "Those kids worked like dogs - even during the coldest months of last winter," Bleri said.
The actual cost of the materials and contracted labor was about $75,000. An independent appraiser set the value at $106,500 - to the surprise of the students, who expected their handiwork to be valued in the $90,000s.
"Now it's important to them that the house not be sold at a discount," said Lawrence Shulman, a lawyer who is one of the nonproject's advisors.
The home-building venture was undertaker by the Montgomery County Students Construction Trades Foundation, Inc., one of three such high school student building organizations in the country. The others are in Fairfax and in Bedford County, Pa.
Students are also marketing and selling the completed house. No one has signed a contract for it yet, but there are several interested parties, said Clyde E. Haven, Jr. of Colquitt-Carruthers, who is counseling the students in the sale.