Construction starts on Home Builders Academy in Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, S.D. - A brand new academy is coming to the Harrisburg School District. Crews started construction on the Home Builders Academy Monday. It's a partnership between the Sioux Empire Home Builders Association and the Harrisburg School District.

It's expected to be finished by some time in the fall on the Harrisburg High School's campus. Students will learn about the construction industry with this new building and will give back by building affordable housing in the community.

"It's going to have a paramount effect on the employment. They're going to have kids that are getting introduced to the building trades while they're in high school. So then they'll have opportunities when they graduate to go on and do one of those sub-different contractors that it takes to build a home," Tom DeHaven said, who is the chair of the Sioux Empire Home Builders Care Foundation Board of Directors.

The curriculum director for the Harrisburg School District, Michael Amolins, said this is an exciting opportunity for students. Amolins said intro to construction classes will start this fall, and 80 kids have already expressed interest in it.

"Any time you offer something new in a high school environment, I think you're going to have a lot of popularity in registering for the course," he said. "But I think in this particular case, the students see the demand in the community. They see the outlook for future career opportunities. I think we're going to see a high demand for these courses for a long time to come."

He said even though 80 students have shown interest, teachers will only be able to handle 40 students per semester.