Will Myers | Courtesy Credit: Will Myers | Courtesy

Cal Poly’s Associated General Contractors (AGC) club has been working in conjunction with Hope’s Village of SLO to construct tiny homes for homeless veterans in San Luis Obispo.

AGC, which is composed of about 130 Cal Poly students, focuses on educating members on the construction industry through attending annual conferences and infusing hands-on learning opportunities through large quarterly projects.

“[Hope’s Village’s] mission is to build a sustainable community village in or around San Luis Obispo and Atascadero to get chronically homeless people off the streets, who have little or no income,” Hope’s Village founder and president Becky Jorgeson said. “We can reduce homelessness in our town and our time if we just put more effort into it.”

In 2017, Jorgeson reached out to faculty in the Construction Management Department at Cal Poly for assistance assembling tiny homes on two flatbed trailers. This year, the department got AGC involved.

“We thought it was a perfect opportunity,” construction management senior and AGC President Will Myers said. “We were getting donated the trailers, and we’d provide the materials and the labor.”

To mitigate the number of obstacles they encountered during the construction process, AGC members redesigned and rebuilt their plan multiple times. From the moment they obtained the trailers to the transportation of the homes to Hope’s Village, AGC spent a total of 15 weeks on the project.

“We were constantly thinking outside of the box on how to make this tiny home stable and efficient, so it doesn’t fall apart in a year,” Myers said.

AGC members will return to Hope’s Village in Feb. 2019 to finish interior work on two homes that construction management students built in Winter 2017 as a part of an upper-division Residential Construction Management lab. The interior work for the homes is expected to take the 10 to 20 AGC members more than 1,000 hours of construction, amounting to 100 to 200 hours per student, according to Myers.

“If you need an example of Cal Poly students learning by doing, I think [AGC] is the perfect representation of that,” Myers said.

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