BOCES to sell student-created home

Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES students from three programs built a modular home now for sale. Provided photo

MALONE — A modular home built by students at Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES in Malone is now up for sale.

Three programs coordinated for the annual project, led by Building Trades teacher Eric Ashlaw, Electrical Trades teacher Craig Paquin and HVAC teacher Tonny French, whose program is housed in Salmon River Central School.

The home was built by students who make up the Building Trades program at North Franklin Educational Center. Students of the Electrical Trade program installed the electrical wiring within the house, and students of the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning program installed the heating system.

“It’s really cool to see students in these three different programs working together on this project every year,” said NFEC Executive Principal Shawn McMahon. “Our teachers try to keep it as much like a real job site as possible, and students have to learn to work with and around others, just as they would at any job site. It’s an awesome, hands-on way for students to learn and get prepared for their careers.”

The 28-by-52-foot modular home was built to meet all local building codes. The home features three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and a full kitchen with countertops.

“We are the only BOCES in the state that includes a heating system in our modular home.” Jess Collier, a public information specialist for the FEH Board of Cooperative Educational Services, said in a statement.

Collier said the modular home was built to be transported to its final lot in two separate pieces. The house needs to be moved by August in order to clear the space for students to begin work on a new building.

Working for 20 years in construction before his teaching career, Ashlaw said he makes certain that students have a strong foundation in safety procedures before they start with a hands-on experience.

“I graduated from FEH BOCES, then worked in the field for over a decade, so I know what skills are important for kids to learn while they’re here,” Ashlaw said. “I’m always looking to equip my students with the tools they need to succeed after they graduate.”

The Building Trades program is a mix of classroom work, fixed in a virtual carpentry curriculum through the regional carpenters’ union, and experiential learning for students to apply their knowledge through physical application.

“Building Trades, Electrical Trades and HVAC are 3 of 11 Career and Technical Education programs run by Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES,” Collier said. “These two-year, half-day programs for juniors and seniors focus on preparing students for careers in trades through hands-on experience and integrating academic subjects with real-world applications.”

Possible buyers can take a tour of the modular home at an open house on Jan. 22. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 23 Husky Lane in Malone. Attendees are asked to practice six feet social distancing from other groups and are advised to wear a mask.

People can also tour the house by appointment during school hours. Appointments can be made by calling Ashlaw at 518-483-5230 ext. 4055.

The house will be sold through a sealed bid process in which potential buyers will submit a sealed bid to FEH BOCES. Collier said that bids can be submitted until 1 p.m. Feb. 2. After that, all the bids submitted will be opened and reviewed. The winning bid is expected to be awarded by the FEH BOCES Board of Education during its Feb. 17 meeting.

Collier also said that students in the Building Trades program at Adirondack Educational Center in Saranac Lake are constructing a tiny house. The tiny house built by students there is expected to be up for sale this spring by means of an auction on the website Auctions International.

For full specifications on the modular home for sale, where to retrieve bid packets with full details to purchase the modular home, and to receive information about FEH BOCES’ Career and Technical Education programs, visit

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