Construction of student-designed home is complete

A three-bedroom, two-bath home designed by Harlingen CISD students has been completed.

Last school year, students in Emiliano Amaro’s Architectural Design 2 class at Harlingen High School worked together with the Harlingen Community Development Division to develop blueprints for homes throughout the community.

“We are thankful to HCISD for giving us the opportunity to do this,” Amaro said. “It’s a great responsibility, but it’s also a great thing for my students to be able to see this.”

Amaro’s class had an opportunity to tour the home once construction was complete.

“It’s a small home, but it still has everything you should have,” Amaro said as he walked the students through the house. “So, as we walk in, here is the living room. Notice the hallway, remember how I tell you to go at least 42 inches wide when designing.”

Among the group of students who toured the home, stood Arumi Hernandez, a senior at Harlingen High School who was part of the class that designed this particular home’s floor plans. The other students involved in creating the home’s blueprints graduated last year.

“I felt happiness when I saw the home because we were able to help someone who needed it,” Hernandez said. “The class was pretty fun because you get to create your own home or someone else’s house.  You may not get paid for it, but you make the people that you are designing the home for happy.”

Besides teaching his students how to design blueprints, Amaro also inspires his students to be more giving.

“I say to my students that it’s not always about earning the money on the blueprints, it’s also about giving back to the community,” Amaro said. “That’s what I am trying to teach them, that if you give, more will come to you. I am glad for the homeowner. She is going to be great in this beautiful house.”

Community Development Director, Sandee Alvarez, who was present at the hour tour, expressed the gratitude of her entire department fo the work of Amaro and his students.

“We have a plaque to give to you all in appreciation for your hard work, support, and dedication,” Alvarez said. “I just want to say thank you.  Mr. Amaro has always been there. He was always available, always responsive. Everything that we asked for, he came back right away with changes if we needed anything. We are very grateful, and the families are too.”

The home contractor was also present on the day of the tour, and he shared his reaction to the blueprints the students designed.

“Actually, I didn’t even know that students did these prints because they were pretty good,” contractor from Rell Transport Felipe Camacho said.  “If something goes wrong in construction, the first thing we check is the blueprints. It is a very important job. They did an excellent job here, even better than some architects.”

Amaro was grateful for the opportunity that his students got to experience.

“I am just excited that the students get to learn first-hand how it is to turn in a house,” Amaro said.  “I have been doing this for 20 years, so I am used to it, but for the students to see it, it is way different than just drawing it on paper.”

Harlingen High School senior Emily Castro shared her thoughts after the tour of the home.

“It’s cool seeing that it all started off with just a blueprint on a piece of paper,” Castro said.

The group of students in Amaro’s Architectural Design 2 class is currently working on new projects.

“Right now, we are working on two more projects,” Harlingen High School senior Kylar De Leon said. “One of them is a tiny home which will be built on a trailer, and we are also designing a house for a lady whose house burnt down.”

Architectural Design is a part of the Apprenticeship Academy at Harlingen CISD. The HCISD Academies offer high school students in the district 37 certification opportunities.

“In Harlingen CISD, we have certification programs,” De Leon said. “So, I plan to get certified for architecture. I already applied to Texas A&M. I want to go into commercial architecture and hopefully one day build big buildings like skyscrapers.”

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