Pagosa Springs High School

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Building Trades 1 students going to the dogs

The Pagosa Area Builders Advisory Committee (PABAC) is hosting a dog house auction Friday, May 18, 5pm at Shooters and Shenanigans, 23 Pike Drive. The San Juan Mountain Boys will provide live entertainment.Tickets can be purchased online at for $20; at the door for $25.

The ten (10) dog houses up for auction were built exclusively by students from the first Building Trades 1 class at Pagosa Springs High School. The 32 students in the class took the project from blueprints to final construction, learning valuable building skills and safety protocols along the way.  

Each dog house is personalized by signatures of the students who constructed it. Over $200 in donated materials were used to build each of the sturdy, insulated, solid dog houses. All proceeds will fund future Building Trades classes at the high school. Dog houses can be viewed at several supportive businesses around the community.

“The dog houses are the culmination of everything the students have learned over the course of the class,” comments Instructor Torry Hessman, a veteran designer/builder of over 30 years.

“It’s an excellent first project for the students because they are basically learning every phase of building a house, just in miniature scale. With what they’ve learned already in this Building Trades 1 class, they are well on their way to having the skills necessary to become eligible for summer and full-time employment with local contractors. It’s great for the kids and also addresses a need in the community,” he says.

PABAC, through, is assisting the Archuleta School District to develop a Vocational-Technical program by initiating the Building Trades 1 class, which is the first one at the high school this year, and adding Building Trades 2, Woodworking 1, and Architectural Product & Furniture Design next school year. Several students have already expressed an interest in the Building Trades classes for next school year, and many from this year’s class will continue their training in Building Trades 2 in the fall.


Students from the Building Trades 1 class stand in front of their newly constructed dog houses.