SFA’s construction management program to host open house for tiny home

NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Stephen F. Austin State University construction management students in the James I. Perkins College of Education’s School of Human Sciences will host an open house featuring the tiny home they built this fall from 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 9 at the Village Nac community at 1188 County Road 823 in Nacogdoches.

Starting in September, 10 students enrolled in the “Building Construction Systems” course worked together to build the 16-by-18-foot home on-site at Village Nac, a faith-based shelter for those experiencing poor mental health and homelessness. Unlike the previous tiny homes, this larger home features a full bathroom, kitchen and den, as well as a bedroom.

Sally Ann Swearingen, SFA professor of interior design and construction management, described the construction as a “team effort.” Students in the “Building Construction Systems” course handled framing, and students in the “Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing” course completed the electrical and plumbing work.

“The community should know these students are using their ability and talent to give back to a worthwhile project instead of building things that don’t make a difference in people’s lives,” Swearingen said. “They are also getting to work with a master electrician and plumber to make sure it is done correctly.”

The project was funded by a second grant from SFA’s Center for Applied Research and Rural Innovation, which funded the construction of four tiny homes last year at Village Nac.

Established in 2019, the Perkins College of Education construction management program offers a multidisciplinary degree by collaborating with SFA’s Nelson Rusche College of Business, Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, and College of Sciences and Mathematics. Nearly 100 students are enrolled in the program.

As part of continued efforts to raise money for building more homes, the construction management students also will build a tiny home on a trailer that will be sold. Swearingen said the cost of building a larger tiny home is $22,000. She hopes to be able to build two or three more of these homes next year.

“We hope people come out and see what the students have been doing for the last few months,” Swearingen said. “They are gaining hands-on experience while giving back to the local community.”

For more information on SFA’s construction management program, visit gosfa.com/construction.

ABOUT STEPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE UNIVERSITY

Stephen F. Austin State University, the newest member of The University of Texas System, began a century ago as a teachers’ college in Texas’ oldest town, Nacogdoches. Today, it has grown into a regional institution comprising six colleges — business, education, fine arts, forestry and agriculture, liberal and applied arts, and sciences and mathematics. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, SFA enrolls approximately 11,000 students while providing the academic breadth of a state university with the personalized attention of a private school. The main campus encompasses 421 acres that include 37 academic facilities, nine residence halls, and 68 acres of recreational trails that wind through its six gardens. The university offers more than 80 bachelor’s degrees, more than 40 master’s degrees and four doctoral degrees covering more than 120 areas of study. Learn more at sfasu.edu.