Nebraska Inmates Nearly Done Building Home in Beatrice, Neb.

The project is the result of a partnership between Prairie Gold Homes and Nebraska’s corrections department.

📅   Fri September 09, 2016 - Midwest Edition #19
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The team has built the entire house, including pouring the walls of the foundation.
The team has built the entire house, including pouring the walls of the foundation.

BEATRICE, Neb. (AP) The first home in Beatrice built by Nebraska prison inmates is in its final stages.

A team of nine inmates at the Community Corrections Center in Lincoln have been working on the home since March, the Beatrice Daily Sun reported. The energy-efficient, low-maintenance home is expected to be finished by November.

The project is the result of a partnership between Prairie Gold Homes and Nebraska's corrections department, and its goal is twofold: teach inmates vocational skills they can use upon leaving prison and provide affordable housing in communities that need it.

The inmates apply for the program and go through Home Builders Institute pre-apprenticeship construction training before starting construction. They also are given workplace safety and first aid training.

“It's going really well,' inmate and crew member Ty Sullivan said. “We have a lot of guys with a lot of experience in multiple areas. As a class, what we don't know individually, we figure out as a group.'

The inmates noted they were not initially welcomed in the Beatrice neighborhood.

“There was even talk of protest,' Sullivan said. “But that was quickly put away once they saw that we're well-mannered and disciplined to get this house up. Now, they're cool. They even bring doughnuts sometimes and stop and say 'hi.'

Construction-related experience isn't required in order to be accepted into the program, but it helps. The inmates listed facets of construction they're experienced in, including flooring, framing and roofing.

The team has built the entire house, including pouring the walls of the foundation. Only the electricity, plumbing, and heating and air conditioning will be performed by licensed workers, as required by law.