Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian HOME MADE Students at Aptos High School are shown with their teacher, Dusten Dennis (left), Monday in front of a tiny home they built over the past 18 months.

After 18 months of work by 200 students, Pajaro Valley Unified School District unveiled a small house that will soon be home to someone who needs it.

At just 20 by 8 feet, the tinyhome is ready for occupation, and comes equipped with living quarters and a bathroom. 

The completion of the project by students enrolled in Aptos High School’s Building and Construction Trades pathway is the first of what district officials hope will be an ongoing project.

It was seeded by a $50,000 grant by Granite Construction, and will be sold for roughly $60,000, making it a self-funded program, said Julie Edwards, who oversees PVUSD’s Career Technical Education department.

“We want this to be a service project, not a fundraiser,” she said.

The financial aspect of the program will be managed by the Pajaro Valley Education Foundation.

AHS Principal Alison Hanks-Sloan called the project, “a labor of love.”

“Yes, the students were getting a grade, yes, they were getting credit for it. But this goes above and beyond that,” she said.

Hanks-Sloan said that the students and teachers worked on Saturdays and evenings to make the project happen.

“These are skills they are going to take away with them for a lifetime, and they are leaving behind what we need in our community,” she said. “More housing and skills and opportunities to grow it and to build it.”

Granite Construction Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Erin Huhlman said the decision to make the donation came when the company realized it had not done anything recently with the school district.

“We decided we wanted to do something more than give money,” she said. “We want to have a partnership. We want to have something that can go on and keep things moving in future generations.”

Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian LIVING QUARTERS Aptos High freshman, Aiden Gonzalez, shows a pocket door that can be used to separate the kitchen/living room area from the bathroom.

Student Ian Hsu, 16, said he liked that the tinyhome’s unique shape allowed for challenging problem-solving.

“It was amazing to watch us finish the entire flooring after a few hours of focused work,” he said. “And personally, it was amazing to see the progress at the start and end of every day, because we could see how much work we got done.”

A similar project at Watsonville High School will be completed next year, Edwards said.

Senior Jordan Torres said the project taught him the basics of building a house from top to bottom.

“My most productive part of the house was probably the plumbing, which is a very important aspect to the house, so that taught me enough to work on my own system at my house,” he said. “The project was definitely a great learning experience that gave me tips and tricks that I could likely use in my future life.”

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General assignment reporter, covering nearly every beat. I specialize in feature stories, but equally skilled in hard and spot news. Pajaronian/Good Times/Press Banner reporter honored by CSBA. https://pajaronian.com/r-p-reporter-honored-by-csba/



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