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How a car show will help these students build a tiny house
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Jose Arce puts away tools at the end of construction class at Lanier College & Career Academy on Friday, Oct. 5. The classes teach students everything from wood work to heating and air. - photo by Austin Steele

Big cars are helping the students at Lanier College & Career Academy build tiny houses.

Students at LCCA are taught everything from wood work to electric work to heating and air, and in order to ensure the students have everything they need, they often raise money for extra supplies. On top of that, there are registration fees for different organizations like SkillsUSA, which sends students from around the country to compete against each other in different skill areas.

For the past few years, the class has held a car show in order to raise those funds. This year’s show is planned for 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at Lanier College & Career Academy.

LCCA Car Show

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13

Where: Lanier College & Career Academy, 2723 Tumbling Creek Road, Gainesville

How much: $20 entry fee, $10 for students

More info: Facebook

“When you put these things on, at first it’s a fundraiser and you want to get money,” said Rodney Presley, construction instructor at the school. “And then it turns into more. It turns into community.”

Registration for the event is $20 per car and is open to anyone from anywhere, students or adults. Students with a student identification badge get half off their registration fee. In the past, the event has raised up to $400. This year, one of the unique things the class has its eye on are tiny houses.

The money raised beyond what it takes for registration fees and other classroom needs or projects will go toward a project that has Shiquavious Williams excited: tiny houses.

There’s a trailer behind the classroom that will transport the tiny house from school to school in Hall County. It’s going to be a team effort as the plan is for each school to work on a different part of the house.

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Shiquavious Williams speaks about his passion for cars during a construction class at Lanier College & Career Academy on Friday, Oct. 5. - photo by Austin Steele

“Everything I like to do is hands on,” said Williams, a 10th-grader at the school. “I don’t like to watch. I like to really get into it and put my hands on it. So everything about this is really exciting. I really want to work on the electric stuff.”

Both the work on the house and the fundraiser itself are right in Williams’ wheelhouse — not only does the student love working with his hands, but he’s a car fan.

He’s close to having enough money saved up to buy a 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS, a car he’s been wanting for a while.

“My grandpa, before he passed away, I used to work with him,” Williams said. “I used to fix cars as a little kid and over time it just adapted to me and I’ve liked it ever since.”

Jason Bonilla lit up when he started talking about the tiny house.

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Jason Bonilla speaks in an interview during a construction class at Lanier College & Career Academy on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018. - photo by Austin Steele

“Oh yeah yeah, I’m ready for that,” said Bonilla, a ninth-grader at East Hall High School taking a few classes at Lanier College & Career Academy.

He said he’s excited to work on the electrics of the house, too, but Presley said another school may be doing that part. He assured Bonilla he may get to do a little bit, though.

“I’ll save something for you,” Presley said, smirking.

Presley enjoys seeing his students passionate about things, so he chose to show his own passion for cars through a car show, hoping it would rub off on those students. While some may not be excited about the car show, Presley knows they see the benefit from it.

And to ensure this year’s fundraiser is the most successful yet, he’s bringing his own 1965 Chevrolet flatbed truck, outfitted with a sign on the back, advertising the event.

“It’s baby blue and rust,” he said, thinking fondly of his truck.

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Students talk with one another at the end of construction class at Lanier College & Career Academy on Friday, Oct. 5. The school is holding a car show to raise money for a tiny house project. - photo by Austin Steele
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