Tiny home ready for big move

The first, and perhaps only, 'tiny' home built at LaHarpe's Regional Rural Technical Center has been sold and will move to Hidden Valley Lake.

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October 13, 2020 - 9:50 AM

This tiny home, built at LaHarpe’s Regional Rural Technical Center, was sold and will be moved to Hidden Valley Lake in Bourbon County. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

LAHARPE — David Froemming has acquired a bit of history.

Froemming, of Humboldt, has purchased the first — and perhaps only — “tiny” home built by the construction trades class at LaHarpe’s Regional Rural Technical Center.

The 540-square-foot home wasn’t complete last spring, when classes ended abruptly at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Still, enough work was done — it was to the point that all of the electrical and much  of the plumbing infrastructure was installed — to entice Froemming to buy it. The structure will be moved in the coming days to Hidden Valley Lake near Mapleton in northern Bourbon County, roughly 30 miles away.

There, Froemming will have the house finished, with siding, doors and windows first on the to-do list, then the rest of the interior completed soon afterward.

He plans to modify the layout slightly, by converting what would have been an 8-foot porch area into another room, then adding a deck the entire length of the home, about 60 feet.

The home will fit in nicely with the scenic Hidden Valley Lake community.

Not that Froemming will notice.

“I’ll be too busy fishing,” he joked.

THE home was part of LaHarpe businessman Ray Maloney’s vision when he helped launch the RRTC program by allowing area school districts and community colleges to use the old Diebolt Lumber facility as a collaborative trade school, complete with construction, welding, wind farm technology and now nursing classes.

However, when the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered schools across the country, it also signaled a change in direction for Fort Scott Community College, which announced in the spring it was pulling out of the RRTC program, which left Maloney in a bit of a pickle.

It was Maloney he purchased materials for the tiny home, with plans to have it placed in LaHarpe once it was complete.

But with work unfinished on the home, and LaHarpe officials pulling away some of the city’s building incentives, “it really cut out my incentives do these as investment properties,” Maloney said.

And with several other business projects ongoing — and may area general contractors unavailable because of other projects — Maloney sought to sell the home, as-is.

“This is one more thing off my plate,” Maloney said. ‘We were really busy this year, and when it came up that this was not going to be finished, it added one more thing.

“Fortunately, Dave  came along, and was the first one I showed it to,” Maloney said. “He liked it. It’s definitely well built, and well worth the money.”

Maloney said he recouped his price of materials, with the sale.

“Dave saw a good deal,” Maloney said. “He had a need, and so he went with it.”

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