Restoring an ETX teacher's hope, one floor plan at a time
Whitehouse, Texas — East Texans always help each other in a time of need and this situation was no exception.
In most cases teachers assist their students in every way possible, however in this case it was one Whitehouse school teacher who needed help.
Her house burned down a few months back and now she's getting help from students, who are learning how to build and design houses in their architecture and design class at Whitehouse High School.
High School teacher Leanne Jamison was devastated when her house caught on fire this past July, but now those feelings of helplessness are being replaced by feelings of hope.
On July 26th Leanne Jameson was in Dallas and got a phone call, that changed everything.
"The house is on fire, dad is having chest pains and high blood pressure, and the group of teachers I was traveling with, they got me home as quick as they could, but still a two hour car ride and when i got there the fire dept had already left and there was a giant hole in the roof, and that's not even as breathtaking as when you walk inside and see the devastation," Jamison said as she described her memory of July 26th.
Jamison told KETK that her family decided to rebuild because of all the damage.
However when her fellow teacher, Tonya Wheat, heard of the tragedy she thought of a better idea.
Wheat said, "We had just found out at the beginning of the year that her house had burned so I decided that my students could possibly draw the floor plan for it."
Wheat asked Jamison if she would be willing to let her students design her new house.
Jamison tells KETK that she was concerned with the time frame, however Ms. Wheat's students have done an excellent job getting everything done very quickly.
She said, "They're so fast, they're so smart, they're using technology that's just amazing, and its come together very quickly, were in the third week of school and i have a house plan that we probably will take to get bids this week, so its very exciting and its taken something that was just really devastating and put such a positive spin on it."
So now, since the beginning of the school year, students in Ms. Wheat's advanced architecture class have been designing the plans for Ms. Jamison's new house.
Student, Jared Gray, said, "And this is the living room which is going to be a lot more open so its got more of a comfort feeling to it."
The students are doing everything from floor plans to cabinet and roof textures.
Not only are the students happy to help out a teacher, they are also getting to put what they've learned to the test.
Wheat said, "They've only drawn floor plans, they haven't gotten to see anything go up from the floor to the roof."
Zack Ziegelgruber, said, "I thought it was pretty cool because it's actually going to get built, because all the other stuff we do we draw it and then it just kind of goes away."
Most students don't get this type of hands on experience until college, however this group will be able to watch their hard work pay off right in front of their eyes. The students will be visiting the house throughout all the phases of the building process to learn the importance of the things they are learning in class, such as exact measurements.
Wheat also tells KETK that the students are going to pick out paint colors and help design the interior as well.
Jamison said, "It's taken something that was really devastating and its put such a positive spin on it, because now were just a family trying to rebuild."