Building Trades

Building Trades program completes house
Posted on 05/23/2017

The final touches are being made on the 38th house constructed by the Building Trades program of the Poplar Bluff Technical Career Center.

The three-bedroom/two bath, 1,694-square-foot house including a two-car garage, is expected to go out for bid next month for opening by the school board during the July 20 meeting. 

“Going over the bookwork, and then seeing that excitement when students do something and it works—it’s a good feeling,” program instructor Jody Cochran said. “Not all kids are college-bound. You need kids with skills to earn money so they can make a living.”

While some vocational schools teach students to build modular structures such as sheds, the TCC has maintained its tradition over the decades of constructing a full house that is up to code and completed under professional carpentry standards, according to TCC Director Charles Kinsey. 

During the two-year program, students prep the site, dig the foundation, pour the concrete, lay the floor, frame the walls, wrap the structure, install windows and doors, place vinyl siding and put up a roof. Then they place drywall, paint, lay the carpet and flooring, install cabinets, hook up plumbing, perform electrical work, connect the appliances, et cetera. When designing the layout, Building Trades students subcontract the HVAC class to install the heating and cooling system. 

“Like Mike Rowe (of ‘Dirty Jobs’ fame) says, the community would be lost without your technical people,” Cochran said. “Your lights would no longer work. The plumbing would shut down. Automobiles wouldn’t run without mechanics.” 

While Cochran has been building houses in the field for over 20 years, this will mark the first house completed from start to finish under his supervision as an instructor. Having started his tenure at Poplar Bluff R-I during the 2014/15 school year, Cochran was named the TCC Teacher of the Year both in 2016 and ‘17. 

Two open houses at the 108 Avery Street location will be scheduled this summer. Advertisements can be found in the Daily American Republic in the near future, or look for updates on Facebook


Cutline: Standing in the new kitchen are (back, left to right) Teddy Luttrull, Jody Cochran, Cody Buffington, Luke Cook, Matt Harwell and Ronald Anglin; and (front, from left) Austin Farley, Johnny Jaco, Nick Loyd and Ariana Burkhart.

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