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Project Green house ready for sale
RaJean Strube-Fossen, center, construction manager of the newly completed student built "green" duplex on South Broadway at East Madison in Riverton, led a tour Tuesday to sponsors, real estate professionals and Fremont County BOCES members. Photo by Wayne Nicholls

Project Green house, built with students crews, is ready for sale

Sep 15, 2013 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

The Project Green duplex -- built almost completely by using energy-efficient construction methods and "green" products -- is now open for bid.

Green Construction Academy director RaJean Strube Fossen took Central Wyoming College staff, Fremont County School District 25 School Board members, and others who had part in the project on a tour Tuesday inside the 7,000 square-foot double-occupancy structure at the intersection of South Broadway and East Madison avenues in Riverton.

The house was built in conjunction with the Fremont County Board of Cooperative Education Services.

Bids are due by 2 p.m. Oct. 1 for 409 S. Broadway Ave. and 406 E. Madison Ave. across from the Riverton Fire Department station.

Each unit includes two bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms. Bids smaller than $200,000 will not be considered.

"It's located close to 28 or more human services," Fossen said, explaining the home's close proximity to churches, schools, parks and banks.

Materials

Fossen said the duplex was built to include long-lasting material that will cost less to replace and will be mostly maintenance-free.

"We have recycled content products, and it's everywhere," she said.

Most of the products, Fossen said, were delivered through A.D. Martin Lumber company in Riverton, and a few others were ordered online. Local contractors for required licensed trade work such as electrical and plumbing helped fill in those components of the construction.

From the floor panels and appliances to the insulation and indoor air quality, each inch of the structure used environmentally friendly construction techniques or systems that taught students an extensive range of lifelong job skills in green construction and prepared them for entry-level career opportunities. The duplex was completed June 30.

Fremont County School District 25 donated to the program, and $1.5 million in stimulus money was awarded to Fremont County Board of Cooperative Education Services in 2010 through the State Energy Sector Partnership Grant.

"It was great to have a lot donated by District 25, because it fit so well to the in-fill lot, and to go ahead and make something useful out of something that hasn't been used in a long time," Fossen said.

Young builders

More than 170 high school students from Fremont County were involved in building this and other energy-efficient projects over three years.

The summer work programs included students from Riverton High School, Lander Valley High School, Pathfinder High School, Wind River High School, Wyoming Indian High School, Arapahoe Charter High School, St. Stephen's High School and Fort Washakie High School. Also in the summer programs were General Educational Development students, students who had dropped out, and CWC students.

The hands-on job training taught students how to be construction laborers and energy auditors and gave them skills in carpentry, building supply sales and home maintenance, weatherization and repair.

A total of 278 students enrolled and participated in the summer academy or worked during the school year, and 257 completed the course. High school students also received Occupational Safety and Health Administration, CPR and first aid certifications after participating in the training.

The grant also trained 125 adults in need of updated training with OSHA 10, OSHA 30, Lead Safe Renovator, HVAC Basics and CPR/First Aid. Fossen said many students returned to be part of the program again or pursued a career in what they learned.

Partners

Other projects included a tool box project for Dubois students, a greenhouse and gazebo for Pathfinder students at the Wyoming Life Resource Center, a bus barn addition for Fort Washakie school, and garden sheds in Thermopolis. Other partners -- many which provided additional training -- include the Northern Arapahoe Work Force, the Eastern Shoshone 477 Program, Wyoming Workforce Services, Red Feather Vocational Rehabilitation, Concrete Association of Wyoming, Samuelson Painting, Four Square Construction, designer Garry Burnette, McMurray Training Center, Modern Plumbing, Advanced Heating and Hyatt Masonry.

The structure is LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, which leads the widely used green building program.

Fossen said proceeds from the sale of the duplex will be used to continue the program in the future.

She said during the tour that many students found joy in passing by the duplex and pointing out to their family members that they had a part in that construction and could tell them all about the energy efficient products or construction methods they learned in order to build the home from the ground up.

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