Note: There will be an open house and tours of the “Tongass Tiny Home,” 4-7 p.m. in the Sitka High School Career Education wing (a.k.a. wood shop).
The Advanced Construction Class at Sitka High School is nearing completion of a tiny home — roughly 200 square feet of surprisingly comfortable — and portable — living space. Instructor Mike Vieira’s class is just starting its sixth semester on the project, which is a collaboration between the Sitka Conservation Society, the US Forest Service, and the Sitka School District. The “Tongass Tiny Home” demonstrates the feasibility and beauty of using locally-sourced second-growth materials in home construction. Vieira says the alder for the tiny home’s floor was sourced at Icy Straits Lumber in Hoonah; the yellow cedar trim and hemlock framing studs came from TM Construction in Sitka (which bought a timber sale on False Island in Peril Strait); and the spruce paneling came from Good Faith Lumber in Craig.
Slideshow (click on an image for more information):
“We’re rolling it out of here in May,” says Vieira. But where the tiny home winds up is uncertain. At present, tiny homes fall in the white spaces of Sitka’s zoning codes, since they’re on wheels but they’re not campers. They’re portable, but their architecture reflects more conventional residential design than “mobile homes.” The most recent “Draft Goals and Objectives” for the updated Sitka Comprehensive Plan includes language that suggest a future for this style of living, reading “Develop or amend codes to allow tiny homes on wheels in certain zones.”
As for the “owner” of the tiny home, the Sitka Conservation Society, director Andrew Thoms says “We’re looking for a buyer — if not in Sitka, then someplace else.”