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NW Show of Homes breaks ground in Forest Grove

Trail Blazers' former announcer, Viking House students take center stage

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTOS: JAIME VALDEZ - Members of the Viking House crew from Forest Grove High School were busy hammering and nailing Monday as a groundbreaking ceremony took place for the NW Show of Homes, which runs July 7 to 31 in the Pacific Crossing neighborhood. “The Schonz” showed up in Forest Grove Monday.

Legendary sports broadcaster Bill Schonely was among the dignitaries gathered for a 1 p.m. groundbreaking ceremony at the 2016 NW Show of Homes Feb. 29 at the Pacific Crossing neighborhood in Forest Grove.

Schonely, whose tenure as the voice of the Portland Trail Blazers spanned nearly three decades, joined representatives from the five participating home-building companies — including students from Forest Grove High School’s Viking House program — for the ceremony, which served as the official kickoff to the summer home show.

Featuring the latest trends in new-home construction, finishes, furnishings and appliances, the NW Show of Homes will run from July 7 to 31. Participating builders include Stone Bridge Homes NW, PNW Contemporary Homes by Fowler Home & Design, KeizurBuilt Homes, Timberland Homes and the Viking House.

Each year, advanced construction/engineering students at FGHS build and sell a home under the tutelage of teacher and advisor Chris Higginbotham.

Previously known as the Street of Affordable Homes, the NW Show of Homes will feature luxurious homes with only one expected to have a listing price higher than $500,000. Representatives from participating builders Stone Bridge Homes NW, PNW Contemporary Homes by Fowler Home & Design, KeizurBuilt Homes, Timberland Homes and the Forest Grove High School Viking House (Advisor Chris Higginbotham is on the far left) grab golden shovels to break ground on the NW Show of Homes.

“It’s really nice to have six homes by five different builders in one location,” said Kelly Ritz, president of Stone Bridge Homes NW, the show host and builder of two show homes. “They’re a little less intimidating than the homes you see at the Street of Dreams, with features on a more accessible level.”

All of the homes will be built to standards earning Gold certification from the Earth Advantage Institute for energy efficiency and environmental sensitivity.

Show sponsors include Standard TV & Appliance, Prime Lending, Earth Advantage, Medallion Industries, Blue Mountain Community Management and NW Natural.

Pacific Crossing is located off Goff Road in Forest Grove. Follow Goff to Heather Way, go left and follow Heather to Andy Avenue and the show site. For more information, visit nwshowofhomes.com.

-- Nancy Townsley

Viking House in ‘Popular Mechanics’

The Forest Grove High School Viking House program was featured in the February 2016 issue of “Popular Mechanics” magazine.

Matthew Johnson, a FGHS senior and second-time Viking House participant, wrote a submitted article singing the program’s praises.

The magazine spread features a large photo of the crew sitting on top of the roof of their 2014-2015 house project, complete with hard hats.

“Before I started the class my nail-driving skills were not good; now they’re second only to the instructors’,” Johnson wrote in the piece. FGHS Viking House crew members were working hard. “Some tools, like the circular saw, were a little scary to be around at first ... Once I learned how to control one and to respect its power it got a lot more comfortable.”

— Stephanie Haugen