Open house at San Juan College features three homes up for bid

Viewing planned for 9 a.m. to noon in carpentry yard

Mike Easterling

FARMINGTON — An open house and viewing planned Saturday morning at San Juan College will showcase three new homes built by students in the college's building trades program, with the homes remaining up for bid for the next several weeks.

Chad Triplett, left, and Zachary Pettijohn of San Juan College's building trades program stand in the living room of one of the houses that will be featured during a program open house taking place Saturday.

The event is planned for 9 a.m. to noon at the building trades carpentry yard on Technology Trail on the school's campus, 4601 College Blvd. in Farmington.

The houses range in size from 240 to 800 square feet and feature starting bids ranging from $28,500 to $46,500.

San Juan College building trades program student Jenny Lee cleans a window on one of the new houses featured in a program open house planned for Saturday.

Construction of the homes offers experience to students in the school's burgeoning building trades program, led by assistant professor Chad Triplett and instructor Zachary Pettijohn. The three-semester program has 24 first-year students this year, and 11 supervisory students in their final semester. Triplett said in a typical year, the program would average only 15 participants, so interest is running considerably higher than it has in the past.

Pettijohn could only shake his head and smile when asked why he thinks that is the case. Triplett said that while the need for skilled workers by local contractors has increased recently, the San Juan County construction market is nothing like the situation nationally, where that demand is very strong.

"San Juan County is in a slump, but the nation as a whole is complaining about the lack of skilled labor," Triplett said.

Students who graduate from the program are well prepared to find work in the industry, thanks to the opportunity the building trades program offers. Pettijohn said the program starts one new house each year, and last year's emphasis was on finishing three of those projects — the houses that will be featured in Saturday's open house.

San Juan College student Isaiah Lee cleans a window while building trades program instructor Zachary Pettijohn describes some of the features of one of the homes constructed by students in the program.

All three of the homes are on the small side, but that makes them affordable, and Triplett and Pettijohn are hopeful they will catch the eye of potential buyers.

"We're trying to clear the lot," Pettijohn said, laughing. "We have a beautiful view, and we'd like to see it."

This 240-square-foot, cabin-style home with vaulted ceilings, kitchen, full bath and living/bedroom loft will be featured in Saturday's building trades program open house at San Juan College.

Triplett said Saturday's open house isn't just for interested buyers. He also welcomes potential building trades program students or supporters.

"The more people see our program, whether they're interested in buying or not, is good in our minds," he said.

This 800-square-foot house with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a utility room and dining/breakfast room is up for bid along with two other homes constructed by San Juan College building trades program students.

The bidding on the homes continues through Nov. 19. The homes are being sold in as-is condition and have been built to be moved. Call 505-566-3336 for more information about the houses or visit

Mike Easterling is the night editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4610.

Chad Triplett, left, and Zachary Pettijohn of the building trades program at San Juan College stand at the back entrance to one of the homes built by program students.