Four business education specialists have set up an on-the-job school of home building in Staunton, Va. It is aimed at people who want to build their own homes.

The first regular session has begun, said Larry Shewan, vice president of the Pioneer School of Home Building Inc. He and Douglas Davis, Stewart Sandow and William Gleason founded the school.Contractor David Brown also is a partner in the school.

"By training and educating the prospective home buyer/builder through a hands-on experience, we feel that our program will represent one of the few positive, consumer-oriented realities in today's housing outlook," Shewan said.

He said the school, which has had trial-run classes, was organized after the partners read about a "log cabin school in Maine."

Shewan said students will actually work on homes, although most of the work will be done by a construction crew, whose members will do the on-site teaching at three adjacent building sites.

The first site will be bare when the class begins. It will be cleared, staked and excavated during the week-long instruction period. A foundation also will be poured.

To provide a variety of experience, a second site will have foundation and basement walls in place. Students will help in the placement of the subflooring, framing and putting the house under roof. They will also help in the rough wiring and plumbing done by a subcontractor.

Shewan said a third site will have the house skeleton in place and students will help in the completion phase -- ranging from erecting drywalls to painting and laying carpet.

Shewan said last week a dozen persons had signed up for the first class and there were some vacancies. The tuition is $500 for a week of instruction. Costs of books and materials are extra.

Shewan said there will be one class a month and the May session is nearly fully registered. He said registrants include remodelers, military retirees, renovators, school teachers and persons interested in building their own houses.

Located at 823 Richmond Rd., Staunton, the school's telephone number is (703) 885-3665.