25 Houses Later

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Tony Tran & Mason Montgomery

It takes 4 periods a day and 1 school year to come up with a brand new house in Northeast Lincoln. For 25 years, Lincoln Northeast High School students have built 25 houses with the Residential Construction class offered only at LNE. This year’s house is located on 69th and Garland, right next to where the past 2 houses have been built.

Bob Freese of LNE has been leading the production of houses since the start of the class in the fall of 1984. This will be his 36th year at Lincoln Northeast High School. When he started at LNE, the residential construction class was only making small garages and sheds. Now, Mr. Freese and his students build houses from the ground up for low-income families in our community.  

“It was a little different… The first year that I started here, we built a garden shed in somebody’s backyard.” It went from a small shed to some garages to now whole houses. 

For the past 25 homes, Freese has been working with the Lincoln Housing Authority to make building these houses happen. The Lincoln Housing Authority owns the property and supplies Freese with all the materials that they need to build the house. They also hire a general contractor to make sure that they coordinate material deliveries and sub-contractors to ensure that the house gets built the way that they want it. 

“The Lincoln Housing Authority has been a great partner for Northeast and this process.” 

Since the residential construction class started to build houses, it has had a very positive impact on our community here in Lincoln. Freese spoke about how the houses that his classes are built are “nice additions to the community.” He also talked about building houses in communities that might not have nice looking houses around, saying that the houses “fit in with the neighborhood” and “help to improve the block.”

The residential construction class has a lot to offer its students, there is a lot that you can learn from the class. Its students learn basic carpentry work. Students start off the year in the wood shop to learn the basics of building the home. You will learn everything from how to use several tools, how to frame walls, the importance of detail in measurement, and much more. 

For the first semester, the the class is split into two groups. First group works from 3-4 periods and 2nd group comes in for 4-5 periods. In second semester, the class is combined for only 4-5 periods.

“It’s a lot of fun… That part is very satisfying to see a family living in these homes and enjoying these homes…” Freese states while reflecting on what he enjoys about teaching this class. From in the shop, out on the job site, or at the end of the year, Freese and his students enjoy building a house and seeing families make a home out of something they built. 

At the end of the year, the entire class comes together for a party to celebrate a brand new home for a family to move into.