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ES-M class hard at work building a home

"We tailor to what the customer can afford and what they want," Schwendy said.

The students place the framing--which acts as the skeleton of the house--as well as apply the plaster called drywall, prime walls for paint, hang cabinets and install hardwood floors, she said.

"Framing is one of the most expensive labor parts, so you're saving on that," she said.

Outside contractors will install the plumbing and electricity, Kugler said.

The home will be a 1,565 square foot, one-story ranch, with three bedrooms and two full baths, if completed according to the blueprints.

"This one is smaller than what we usually do, that will work well with our late start," said Schwendy, who has taught the class for four years and has four years worth of work experience in carpentry.

Last year, the class built a two-story home in Kirkville, with an additional two-car garage and office addition, said second year carpentry student Jason Ruhs.

The class visits the job site during their three-hour time blocks on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Kugler had to transition to new timing, a difference from the schedule he had had teaching in elementary and middle schools for 27 years and working long hours on his business' projects.

"It was hard to get used to, working only three hours a day," said Kugler, who works in carpentry 10-hours-a-day, 5-days-a-week, in the summer.

Kugler, Schwendy and Skarupa all work alongside the students, completing individual tasks that sometimes require the help of students, and leave the majority of the work in the hands of the students.

Kugler said he acts as a supervisor, making sure every student is safe on site, and that the real value of the class comes from students' own work.

"I don't want it to be a show where I do the work," he said. "I haven't hammered a nail."

Paige Dearing currently majors in journalism and political science at Syracuse University.

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