Back to school and back to building a home through annual Lynnwood Rotary project

Students who completed last year's house each received their own hammer. (Photo courtesy of Lynnwood Rotary)
Students who completed last year’s house each received their own engraved hammer. (Photo courtesy of Lynnwood Rotary)

The Rotary Club of Lynnwood in cooperation with the Edmonds School District started a hands-on educational home-building experience in 1975.  It has helped educate more than 1,400 students, many of whom have made a living in the construction industry. These students have often taken their family by the house they built, showing it off with pride.

The artist's rendering of the house being built this year. (Courtesy of Architects NW)
The artist’s rendering of the house being built this year. (Courtesy of Architects NW)

This year, juniors and seniors enrolled in the Edmonds School District’s Construction Industry Training (CIT) class will again learn up-to-date safety, building techniques, and code requirements and rationale, bolstered with practical math, geometry and the study of materials. They will then head to the field for their hands-on laboratory, actually building the 39th house, where their teacher, Randy Sibley, will be the construction foreman,

Last year the classroom moved from Mountlake Terrace High School to the CIT Building at Edmonds Community College (EdCC) and students who complete the class requirements can again get 23 hours of college credit, estimated to save $2,500 in college tuition. This will also give them a head start in further training in the construction industry, which is clamoring for workers of all types and paying good wages.

The same class is available in the late afternoon for EdC College students who will work on the House Project for the first time. The classroom will come alive and be solidly understood as well as remembered. This education will be invaluable for anyone who wants to go into fields related to the construction industry, for example architects, engineers, inspectors and municipal building officials.

Now in its 30th year, the Rotary Club of Lynnwood’s House Project will again provide the property and building materials. The Rotary Club retains the construction manager, volunteer and retired home builder — Bob Setting — who assists in the design, obtains building permits, coordinates the project and tracks costs. Rotary also provides any subcontractors needed for portions of the house, like electrical and plumbing.

The House Project has many generous friends in the contracting, banking, supplies, and real estate industries that have helped this project become successful over the years. Many former students have given back to the Project by offering services and even volunteering time on the building site.

This year Architects NW and Mitchell Engineering have already contributed excellent house plans. As it has in the past, the architecture class at Edmonds-Woodway High School will supply plans. Civil engineer Jeffrey Trieber of LSA Engineering has again put in countless hours preparing our plans for this year.

The houses have always been of high quality and have often been purchased by the first potential buyer. The pride of students, teachers and Rotarians involved in building each house has transferred into pride of home ownership.

You can learn more about the high school class here and here, and additional information about college classes is here.

For more information, email Ken Peirce, RCL House Project Chair, at:

– Article submitted by Ken Peirce, Lynnwood Rotary Club

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