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New Viking House hits the street

Street of Affordable Homes features the latest built by Forest Grove High Schoolers
by: John Schrag Chris Higginbotham, Forest Grove High construction teacher, showed off the 2012 Viking House last Wednesday to developers who will build houses on adjacent lots as part of the Street of Affordable Dreams event in Forest Grove.

Chris Higginbotham had an attentive audience last Wednesday as he gave a tour of an unfinished home at 1055 Lilac St. in Forest Grove.

Higginbotham, the construction teacher at Forest Grove High School, was showing off his students' handiwork in the 2012 Viking House.

Each year, a select group of students from his advanced construction class help build a house, which is then sold to finance the next year's project and support the school's woodworking program.

Viking Houses always draw a lot of interest, but this year's project will have even more visitors, since it will be included on the 2012 Street of Affordable Homes Tour.

The annual collection of new homes offers mid-price alternative to the $800,000 McMansions found in the Street of Dreams show.

The 'affordable' home show, which was held in The Parks neighborhood north of the high school in 2010, moved to Tigard's Bull Mountain last year, but will be back in town July 5-29 at the Pacific Crossing subdivision tucked behind Tom McCall Upper Elementary School.

It will feature five energy-efficient homes, priced between $300,000 and $470,000, from four builders.

One of those builders is the Viking crew, and last week Higginbotham gave the other builders, who have yet to break ground, a sneak peek.

Looking at the tight studs, evenly spaced nails and taught, straight wiring, the other developers praised the craftsmanship and the design, which includes features like a naturally lit mudroom.

Casting his gaze around the interior, one builder quipped, 'Looks like we'll all have to up our game this year.'