Lee County ATC and KVEC – Building It Forward Tiny House Project
Lee County Area Technology Center has partnered with the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative in the Building It Forward Tiny House project. In the 2017 school year, KVEC awarded Lee Co. ATC with a $15,000 grant for students to design and build a tiny house. Students had to learn not only to build it, but had to learn how to make blueprints and present their results for approval. The tiny house was auctioned for sale and another $15,000 was awarded to Lee ATC in 2018 to build another tiny house, which when sold at KVEC’s auction on The Holler, another $15,000 plus 80% of the selling price above $15,000 was awarded to the ATC for the 2019 tiny house. That is the purpose of the Building It Forward grant, that each year, students will have funds to design and construct a tiny house from scratch. It is a massive hands-on project that takes the entire year to complete, but students have such an amazing opportunity to learn skills and build a constructed project that no budget with local funds could cover.
This project has not only helped students develop technical skills, but has also helped to develop leadership and communication skills as well. Students at Lee County ATC have been recognized for their diligence and creativity with this project. Kentucky Living Magazine did a cover story on the students and the Building It Forward project in their May 2018 issue. KVEC hosts their Fire Summits in Pikeville every April, when the tiny houses are complete. People from all over Appalachia come to see what the students have done through their partnerships with KVEC, and the tiny houses are a major part of that. Leaders from Frankfort have come to Lee County ATC to see the students work on the tiny house and interview them, and students have been on KET as they have presented about the tiny house project.
The partnership with Lee County ATC and KVEC will hopefully continue to provide our students with excellent hands-on training and technical skill development at a high level. Without KVEC, we could not afford to pursue such a costly project. The skills and confidence that students learn through the Building It Forward project make it a worthwhile venture.