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Tough market for home sale — again

July 31, 2012
Kylie Saari , Fairmont Sentinel

FAIRMONT - Each year the building trades class at Fairmont Senior High School constructs a house to sell in an auction at the end of the school year.

It has been that way since as long as teacher Keith Anderson remembers - at least since the 1970s.

But this year, the house didn't receive any bids at the auction, and so far, no one has come forward to purchase the property.

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No offers have been made yet on the house built by Fairmont Senior High School’s building trades class.

The district also had trouble selling the house last year during the auction, when only one bidder offered an amount below the reserve price.

Eventually, that house was sold to Habitat for Humanity and was off school property by mid-August.

The three-bedroom home built by students this year sits on the school's property, just to the south of the main building. It will remain there while waiting for a buyer.

Superintendent Joe Brown said the houses cost the district about $43,000 in building materials.

If the house does sell, the owners will have other costs to make it habitable.

"When someone purchases a project house they may still need to purchase a lot, pay for moving costs, install a bathroom and kitchen, install floor coverings, build a basement and pay for HVAC, water, and sewer hookups," Brown said.

If the house does not sell, students will not be able to build another one this school year, according to Brown. Instead, they will be directed to work on other projects.

What those projects might be is uncertain.

Anderson said he hasn't talked to Brown about the house, so he has made no plans to have the students work on another project.

In past years, students have done off-site remodeling projects when a new house build wasn't available.

What Anderson does know is that students benefit from the hands-on experience.

"We get so much benefit from a project like this," Anderson said.

Twenty-four students are slated to start the two-hour block building trades class in September, made up of mostly juniors and seniors. Typically, the students begin working on the house four weeks after the start of school.

For more information about the house, contact Steve Fausch at (507) 235-5892.



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