TRU students get to work on next Kamloops Y Dream Home

Students build dream home

Thompson Rivers University trades and technology students have broken ground on the next Kamloops Y Dream Home in Orchards Walk.

The training house is a partnership between TRU and the Canadian Home Builders Association, where TRU residential construction, electrical and plumbing students spend eight months building an entire house.

The home is built from July to February before being purchased by the Kamloops Y and raffled off as part of the Kamloops Y Dream Home Lottery.

Tim Kasten, carpentry instructor at TRU, said the project provides students with valuable practical experience they wouldn’t otherwise learn in a classroom.

“We can talk about this in front of a whiteboard and draw a picture but you know, unless you're actually doing it — swinging a hammer, driving nails, cutting — you're not really going to understand,” he said.

“Day 1, they don't know which end of the hammer to hold. And by the time this course is over, they will have built an entire house so it's again a great Kickstart to their career.”

Kasten said he worked on the second training house more than 30 years ago when he was an apprentice carpenter. He has been involved in recent years as a project manager.

TRU trades and technology student Adam Hart said the students get to start from nothing and learn everything they need over the course of the project.

“To be able to work on a house like this, doesn't really get better than that,” he said.

“And having, as well, 15 students here to work and always working at the same time, it gets done well.”

Student Jesse Odubote said part of the value of the experience comes from the mentorship of the instructors like Kasten.

“There’s guidance all around us," he said. "For example, Tim, even though he gives us hell sometimes. But it's tough love."

Student Samantha Fiddick said she appreciates the program because she learns better with hands-on experience.

“Being out here, practically using math or this or that, it is so much easier to learn this way,” she said.

A kick-off event Wednesday was attended by MP Frank Caputo and MLA Peter Milobar, as well as representatives from TRU, the City of Kamloops, the Kamloops YMCA, and the CHBA.

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