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Next Construction Trades house lot bought from Herkenhoff; Hoiseth says more in the works

The hope is that the 2020-21 Construction Trades class, finishing a house on Hoven Lane, will get to participate in concrete pour next spring for 2021-22 house in city's northeast corner.

Mike Christopherson
Crookston Times

The Construction Trades program at Crookston High School will build its next house, in the 2021-22 school year, in Bob Herkenhoff’s Nature’s View Estates in Crookston’s northeast corner.

    CHEDA partners with the school district and the Northwest Minnesota Housing Cooperative to strategically identify home construction sites for the CT students and teacher Travis Oliver that most benefit the community. The past couple of years, they’ve built homes on Hoven Lane. The students were in the midst of building a home on Hoven Lane when the COVID-19 pandemic last March sent kids home and halted the construction.

    The plan until recently was to have the CT students, on a hybrid learning model at CHS, to finish the house during the first semester; then, during the second semester, they’d rehab a dilapidated home somewhere else in town to get a feel for how those types of projects go. But with a smaller CT class size than usual this year and alternating in-person and distance-learning days at the high school, the students will take whatever time necessary to finish the Hoven Lane house. It’s anticipated that sometime next spring, CHEDA Executive Director Craig Hoiseth said, that concrete could be poured at the 2021-22 site in Nature’s View Estates so next year’s CT class can get started right away in the fall. It’s possible this year’s CT class will have an opportunity to participate in the concrete work.

    As part of Herkenhoff’s continued partnership with the City of Crookston, Nature’s View Estates continues to expand to the north and east, and the lots are selling. The lots where the CT house will be built have been selling for around $25,000, but Hoiseth said Herkenhoff is selling the lot for the CT home for $12,500. The money is coming from CHEDA’s Workforce Housing Fund.

    “Thanks to Bob for wheeling and dealing with us to get the price down,” said CHEDA Board Member Steve Erickson, also a city council member.

    The lot is one of the smaller ones in the development and the CT class will build a home similar to the two on Hoven Lane, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a double garage. Although it will be smaller than other larger and more expensive homes being built around it, Hoiseth, responding to City Council Member Bobby Baird’s concern about the home not fitting in with the rest of the neighborhood, said it will meet all covenants.

    “It’s a nice house,” Hoiseth said.

    Herkenhoff, while stocking his new, north pond in Nature’s View Estates with fish a couple weeks ago, indicated that he was ready to continue working with the City and CHEDA to continue to expand residential new home opportunities significantly further to the east, beyond Eickhof Boulevard.

    Hoiseth, in discussing the purchase of the lot for the next CT house, said there’s more to come.

    “We’re talking with Bob on a much more comprehensive development in that area; we’ve shaken hands on bigger things,” he said, adding that he’d have more information for his board in the next month or two.