Thompson Rivers University

Training House two-for-two at local Keystone Awards

  Posted on: February 8, 2018

2017 Training House Project students

Students of the 2017 Training House had their efforts recognized with two CHBA CI Keystone Awards on Feb. 3, 2018. In the safety jacket is now-retired faculty member Hank Bangma. File photo.


A round of applause for TRU’s Carpentry program.

For the first time in recent memory, TRU’s Training House won both the categories it was a finalist in at the Canadian Home Builders Association Central Interior’s (CHBA CI) 2018 Keystone Awards.

At the awards event on Feb. 3 at TRU’s Grand Hall, the award for Best Single Family Detached Home: $350,000 to $500,000 was presented to the School of Trades and Technology and local contractor Fulcrum Development, which oversaw the 2017 Training House project. TRU’s collaboration with the CHBA CI was named Best Public/Private Partnership.

“This is great testament to the passion of the instructors and the dedication of the students to their learning,” said Dean of Trades and Technology Baldev Pooni. “To think this was achieved by students who started with little knowledge of construction and created this marvel. Incredible.”

What is the Training House?

The Training House is a 28-year-old friendship with CHBA CI and boils down to first- and second-year Carpentry students building many parts of a house from the foundation to winter lockup. During that time, students are overseen by a trades faculty member and the overall project is overseen by a CHBA CI member contractor. After the students are done, the contractor takes over to get the house move-in ready, and eventually become the grand prize in the Kamloops Y Dream Home lottery.

Trades' trophy case

Space is in short supply in the School of Trades and Technology’s trophy and recognitions case.

Students are at the job site five days a week from August through December, and during that time, apply their classroom and lab learning in real-life situations that include:

  • reading blue prints
  • cutting and measuring to specifications
  • communicating with each other
  • planning their day
  • being efficient in their movements
  • practising worksite safety
  • working in hot and cold weather conditions

It’s one of the best hands-on learning tools going.

Packed trophy case

You can find the two new awards in the packed trophy case located in the lobby of the Trades and Technology building. Last month the TRU/CHBA CI partnership won the Excellence in Public or Private Partnership award at the CHBA Central Okanagan Tommie Awards in Kelowna. As a finalist in the public/private category at next month’s CHBA BC Georgie Awards in Vancouver, the number could grow again.

“This is a partnership of trust where the stakeholders including TRU instructors, students, CHBA Central Interior, businesses and the community all benefit,” said Pooni.

Flashback to the 2017 house under construction

The Newsroom stopped by the 2017 house located at 3100 Kicking Horse Drive on a cold December day in 2016 to talk to students and to see how the project was going. Though the temperature was nearing -20° C, all were busy doing something and in good spirits.

Among them was Crystal Moore, who enrolled in the carpentry program to learn skills that would be helpful on her farm. She was getting them and more.

“We’re super lucky to be on this project because we get to do all aspects of residential construction,” said Moore. “We started with a hole in the ground to where we are today with this big house and a roof on before the snow. On the farm there were many projects that I wished I could build, but didn’t know how to. Now I’m getting that experience and can help build a barn, build a cover over our round pen—the possibilities are endless. Eventually, I want to build my own house.”