April 13, 2018


City College Construction and Carpentry students


City College at MSUB hosts modular home open house

Open house April 17, bids open April 17-May 8



University Communications and Marketing, 657-2266


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES —Students in the Construction and Carpentry program of City College at Montana State University Billings recently constructed a modular home and will be holding an open house April 17. The public is welcome to attend the open house.

The home is listed on the MLS with the minimum bid price being $77,250, which covers the costs of construction. Proceeds go back into the construction and carpentry program for construction of another modular home next year.

The school will accept sealed bids from April 17 through May 8. Sealed bids will be received at the MSU Billings Purchasing Department, located at 1500 University Drive, until 2:00 p.m. May 8.

The home may be viewed at City College, 3803 Central Avenue, during school hours, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kellie Saville, realtor and 10-year member of City College advisory board, is the listing agent. Interested parties may make an appointment with Saville at 671-6955 or Stacey Teague at 247-3008 to tour the home. Preview the house online using MLS number 283422 or via real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia, and realtor.com.

The 1,400 square foot home has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an open concept living/dining room with gas fireplace. The master bedroom features a coffered style ceiling and walk-in closet. The kitchen is finished with maple cabinets of varying heights, a mosaic tile backsplash, and a pantry with custom built shelves. The fireplace mantle, ceiling beam, alcove, and island are all built of the same wood with similar designs. The front entry is tiled, extending from the front door to the coat closet. A sliding barn door opens to the mudroom at the back of the house.

Students learn how to do all of the steps for constructing the home from start to finish, including the finish work, and nothing is basic in the home. “This is the most elaborate and beautiful house we have ever built” shared Terry Madtson, construction technology instructor.

“This was a fun environment to learn in and very different than being on a job site where you worry if you do something wrong,” shared Nathan Brown, a first-year student who came to City College from Bolivia with prior experience as a roofer. “Building the home taught me a lot of everything as it was a well-rounded project. I especially enjoyed the finish work.”

Construction of the home began the first week of school with the work being completed by students during their lab time. Twelve students built the modular-style home from scratch.

“It’s rewarding to see what you’ve done as a group, progress on the house, and to be able to say ‘I’ve done this’ when projects are completed,” said Emmit Reoland, a second-year student from Culbertson, Mont. “As a second year student we got to pass our knowledge on to the first-year students and worked alongside them as project leads and teachers.”

One modular is built each year at City College. This year, due to having more students in the class, the modular was completed a month early and students then embarked on building a storage shed that is more like a mini shop, complete with interior lights, interior and exterior electrical outlets, built-in shelving and hooks. The students also built a half-roof solar shed which gave them practice installing renewable energy sources.

“We are seeing great results with all of the students working together,” said Madtson.  “They learn from each other with second-year students serving as student mentors and quasi-lab assistants. With this approach we get to be more creative with what we design and finish the house as.”

The skills and experience gained from building the home is second-to-none. “It was definitely hands-on to build all the components of the house,” said Tel Hermanson a second-year student from Sidney, Mont. “We learn about project management from beginning to end, estimating costs, construction business functions, how to supervise people, with a good base knowledge and background from start to finish, all of which lead to being successful in the construction industry.”

The Construction and Carpentry program began in 2006. The curriculum has now morphed into a comprehensive program for students to meet their end goal of owning their own construction business or supervisory roles in the construction industry as they learn business basics and construction fundamentals. Instructor Terry Madsen changed the structure of the  program two years ago by having first-year and second-year students work together to construct the modular. This change has made an impact on the students and the construction of the home, taking the modular to a whole new level of finishes, options, and design. Madtson’s vision for the house project resulted in impressive changes for the design and construction of the home and a whole new learning experience for the students.

“This was the only program in the region that had big building projects in a hands-on program with focused classes and opportunities to get practical experience,” shared Hermanson. “A lot of what we do for constructing these smaller projects works well on a larger scale.”

Learn more about the Construction and Carpentry program here.

To purchase this home, an Official Bid Form must be submitted: contact the MSU Billings Business Office/Purchasing Department (in the basement of McMullen Hall) at 657-2151 or the City College Business Office for additional information and an official bid form. Bids will be publicly opened and read aloud on May 8, 2018 at 2 p.m.

For more information contact Stacey Teague, City College director of operations, 247-3008.