When classes began this week in the Hannibal public school district, most students found themselves in a different classroom than last year. At the Hannibal Career and Technical Center (HCTC), students in the Building Trades program will find themselves working at a new construction site as well.

When classes began this week in the Hannibal public school district, most students found themselves in a different classroom than last year. At the Hannibal Career and Technical Center (HCTC), students in the Building Trades program will find themselves working at a new construction site as well.

The Building Trades program's next house will be constructed in the Fette subdivision on a lot designated No. 19. The school district closed on the site earlier this month. Dirt work and site preparation began almost immediately after the sale closed.

Rich Stilley, business manager for the school district, said the new construction site offers many benefits. "The location is ideal for us," he said. "It is less than a five-minute commute, so we will gain valuable instruction time for the students each day.

"In addition, the subdivision has concrete roads, and with city utilities already there, the hookup will be a huge cost savings for us,” he said. “The savings will more than offset the increased cost of the lot this year."

At its July meeting, the Hannibal Board of Education approved paying $30,000 for the new lot. That compares with the $22,976 the school district paid in 2016 for the previous lot that was located at 5271 Clear Creek Rd. Stilley noted that the price paid two years ago included the closing costs.

After receiving a bid of $160,000 in March for the Clear Creek Road house, the Board of Education wound up approving a bid of $200,000 for the structure at its May meeting.

"We made a small profit when you consider all the material and construction costs over the last two school years," Stilley said.

The Building Trades program, which last school year observed the 50th anniversary of the completion of its first house, had the opportunity to do something other than build another house this year when the city inquired if the program's students would want to construct a lighthouse on Cardiff Hill. The school district wound up saying "thanks, but no thanks.” Stilley said if the Building Trades students had taken on the lighthouse project, they would not have constructed a new house.

Stilley said the availability of the new lot in the Fette subdivision was not a factor in the decision to pass on taking the lighthouse project.

"We had bids let at the same time," said the school district's business manager.

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com