School Youth Build Home to be featured in Fox Cities 2016 Summer Parade of Homes
Posted on 08/08/2016
Appleton East, West & North High School Students blended new home into a 50-plus year-old neighborhood

The Appleton Housing Authority (AHA) and its companion nonprofit Neighborhood Housing, Inc. (NHI), are pleased to announce that its School Youth Build Home – built by Appleton East, West and North High School students in partnership with the Appleton Area School District (AASD) – will be one of 30 newly constructed homes and three remodeled homes to be featured in the Home Builders Association of the Fox Cities (HBA Fox Cities) 2016 Summer Parade of Homes.™ 

HBA Fox Cities Summer Parade of Homes dates are August 13-14 and 18-21, with remodeling projects being shown August 19-21, providing parade-goers with the opportunity to view the building expertise of 28 local builders.  Upon arrival, visitors will enter through the garage of each home, where they will be asked to remove their shoes and step into a pair of foot coverings. Once inside, guests are free to explore participating homes at their own pace during a self-guided tour. Parade tickets can be purchased at the HBA Fox Cities office, 920 W. Association Drive, Appleton or online at

This is the first time in the nearly 10-year history of the AHA/AASD School Youth Build Partnership for a student-built home to be selected as a Parade home, according to Debra Dillenberg, AHA executive director and NHI vice president. “We are very excited and appreciative that HBA Fox Cities has given us the opportunity to showcase the students’ craftsmanship and the tremendous difference they are making in helping us succeed in creating more handicap accessible, affordable housing options for low-income families in need in our community,” Dillenberg said.  “It is our hope to use the Parade of Homes as a springboard to help heighten community awareness of the School Build, as well as our current, critical need to dramatically increase local fund raising support to keep the students building beyond this coming school year.” 

Parade-goers are invited to see first-hand how local students have successfully built and aesthetically blended this year’s School Build home at 311 River Drive in Appleton into a 50-plus year old neighborhood, turning a long-time vacant lot into a homestead that both enhances and completes the area. 

Working alongside AASD Technology & Engineering Instructor, Marcus McGuire and a number of local sub-contractors who have donated their time to the project, the students have successfully built the three-bedroom home from the ground up, incorporating green build and universal design concepts, zero-step entryways and handicap accessibility features.

“The kids are especially proud of the extra care that we’ve put into the design of the home to make sure it looks like it belongs with all of the other homes in this well-established neighborhood,” McGuire said.

Over the course of last school year, an estimated 250 students were positively impacted by many hands-on learning experiences, which extend beyond the actual home construction process, including work by interior design, marketing, foods and Tesla students, according to McGuire.

Additionally, participating youth also learned and received valuable insight into the housing concerns that exist in our community from AHA staff, all while making a positive difference for a family in need. 

“These hands-on experiences help our youth to make career development decisions, as well as have a greater understanding of the need for safe and affordable public housing options in our community, especially for families in need of handicapped accessible homes and a socio-economic boost,” Dillenberg said.

As with previous student built homes, funding for the Summer Parade-featured School Youth Build home was provided by Neighborhood Housing, Inc., the AHA’s 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. NHI is currently in critical need of funds to keep the students building next school year and beyond.

“Without additional fundraising and community support, we will have to re-evaluate the continuation of our AHA/AASD Partnership beyond this upcoming 2016-2017 school year,” Dillenberg said.

About HBA Fox Cities:
Home Builders Association of the Fox Cities, a 501(c) (6) nonprofit trade organization, represents the land development, home building, remodeling and housing-related industries, as well as homeowners, in the greater Fox Cities area of Wisconsin. The Association consists of more than 400 member companies which employ nearly 5,000 people who live and work in the local area. HBA Fox Cities promotes professional business and construction practices among its members who work to enhance the quality of life in the Fox Cities. For more information, visit or call 920-731-7931.

About Appleton Housing Authority:

The Appleton Housing Authority (AHA) is the largest provider of affordable housing options in the Appleton area, serving over 900 families per month.  The agency has operated rental housing, homeownership and family self-sufficiency programs along with other key housing-related programs in the Appleton community for over 49 years. 

The AHA’s non-profit Neighborhood Housing, Inc. (NHI) organization is committed to affordable housing and the self-sufficiency of families, elderly, veterans and disabled individuals in the Fox Cities. NHI’s successful partnership with the Appleton Area School District (AASD), annually brings students from Appleton East, North and West High Schools together to build a new, affordable home for area families in need of an affordable residence. For more information about the AHA’s history, mission and programs, visit      
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