Griswold Student Elijah Sprenger, a.k.a Eli (to most students and teachers) is currently a freshman who is building a house; here's the twist: this is a house his family and he plan to live in. The house is currently under construction near Athena.
Besides the other houses he's built with his father (who is a part-time contractor) in the past, this one is different in many more ways than one.
According to Sprenger, the property that they are currently building the house on had been wanted by his family for about 10 years! The owner of the property refused to sell it for a while, even backing out of the deal once when he had already agreed to sell. The family had been waiting years and years until he finally agreed after a long battle of persistence. “Once he finally agreed to sell it, my parents kind of jumped the gun,” Sprenger said about the property.
The young freshman student seems to think that the property owner was a little bit of a hoarder and wanted all of the house parts to himself. Once the Sprenger family finally had their grip on the property for real, they were already faced with a challenge. On the property was a very old house, and they were faced with two decisions: try and fix it up or tear it down. Unfortunately, the house had been too worn down to salvage anything.
“It was just so messed up that if we didn't tear it down, it would have collapsed in the next ten years,” said Eli. Eli hadn't been torn up over destroying the old house too much, but his family had been. The old structure had been an old stagecoach stop in the 1900’s. Eli said that many people would come over and show him pictures of what it used to look like.
While waiting for the house to be finished, the Sprengers reside in two different trailers. Eli, however, is living in a tent separately to get away from all of the family’s hustle and bustle, he is excited for the house to be finished but, “You get to see your progress as you move along, but then it kind of takes out the satisfaction of the new house feeling,” said Sprenger.
The house has taken a lot of work, but all of the Sprenger family has agreed that it’s been worth it. Even the oldest siblings who are no longer going to Helix High School have been pitching in.
Older brother and Helix alum, Jake Sprenger had to also agree that it is very hard work, “It’s rewarding but it’s definitely hard work,” said Jake. With the two of them paired together, they certainly have been the ones working on the house the most—besides their father of course.
The two boys claim that it’s been almost ‘tradition’ to build houses since they’ve done it ever since they could remember. In total, the Sprengers have built and sold about 6 houses. Jake Sprenger mainly does simple menial tasks. “Whatever my dad needs, mainly grunt work,” is how Jake describes his contributions.
Eli Sprenger seems to think that the work experience will be good for him in the future. “Everyone tells me that the house building experience is good, and I know it is, it's just hard,” said Eli.
Not many high school students globally have ever had a hand in building a house. Eli thinks that Helix High School students have many more opportunities to do so, however. “I think here in Helix most students have the opportunity to learn that stuff,” said Eli.
Overall, Eli Sprenger has accomplished some impressive feats, from building 6 houses in his lifetime to continuing to build that skill level;
The Sprenger family has accumulated more than 350 hours of construction time on their new house. In 5 weeks of his freshman year of high school, Eli hasn’t even attended that many hours of classes! One thing is for sure, they all can’t wait until its finally finished, especially Eli.