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First ever Battle of the Build comes to 48th Annual Home and Outdoor Show

Hannah Swayze • Updated Feb 6, 2018 at 9:00 PM

Th eJohnson City Area Home Builders Association looks to build bridges over the gaps between high schoolers and the manufacturing and construction trade.

How are they doing this?

This year, at the 49th Annual Home and Outdoor Show, held on the East Tennessee State University campus in the Mountain States Health Alliance Mini Dome, the group will be introducing a new contest called "Battle of the Build."

"We were trying to figure out how to bridge the gap between high school students and the building industry," said Lisa Luster, Executive Director of the Johnson City Home Builders Association. "They're in high school, they're trying to figure out what they're going to do, some of them don't want to go on to college, and some of them don’t realize that they have options after high school."

What is this contest?

As part of the contest, participating high schools in Carter, Johnson, Unicoi and Washington counties were each assigned a sponsor. Sponsors from the community served as mentors and provided guidance to the teams

The teams' creations must fit into a 6 foot by 6 foot by 8 foot cube, but other than that, the options are endless.

"The sky's the limit. They could build a picnic table that they drive from the school to the mini dome and drive it around the entire dome as long as their school has those different departments that could work on it," said Luster.

Teams will bring their final products to the Home and Outdoor Show will be reviewed by 5 non-local judges from the Home Builders Association of Tennessee and the National Association of Home Builders. Audience votes will also factor into the judges' decisions.

First Prize will win $1,000, second will win $500 and third place will win $250. All prize dollars will go directly to the schools' career and technical education programs that participate in the battle.

Where do I come in?

The public will have an opportunity at the Home and Outdoor Show to observe the students' creations, talk to them about their products and possibly take one home.

The show will be held Feb. 16-18 in the ETSU Mini Dome. The entrees to the competition will be unveiled at 4 p.m. on Friday.

Luster says those who come out are encouraged to talk to the students about their creations and ask questions. GoBuild TN and Build Your Future will also be onsite with information about careers in construction trades.

A silent auction will also be conducted over the weekend for those who may want to purchase the students' creations. Products will be sold to the highest bidder, and all money will be given to the schools.

Battle of the Build will host an awards ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 18 at the end of the show.

I want to learn more!

Those interested in learning more or who can't make it to the show can follow Battle of the Build on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

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