Westminster Trustees OK ‘Tiny House’ Project

NEW WILMNGTON, Pa., — Westminster College is moving forward on a “tiny house” project. The board of trustees recently approved phase one of the project, according to a news release from the college.

Tiny Houses are loosely categorized as homes that are between 100 and 400 square-feet. These houses, which have piqued social and environmental interest across the globe, require less energy and economic consumption, and support the ideas of simplification and sustainability.

“We would like to capture the fascination that our neighbors and larger community have with the tiny house movement and turn that into an educational experience,” said Dr. Helen Boylan, Westminster College professor and program coordinator and chair for the environmental programs.

In the exploratory phase, a team of students will help design and plan the building of the first house.

Dr. Timothy Cuff, professor of history and chair of the division of social sciences and humanities, credited “an administrative assistant’s dream, a faculty member’s undying passion” and strong faculty and staff support with bringing the college to this point.

“Ideally, we will construct the tiny house through a community build, where students, faculty, staff, community members, and alumni are able to support the building of the house through physical participation in the build, donations, or other contributions,” Boylan said. “Pending success and support of phase one, we will plan for two or three more houses.”

Location and design of the tiny house, zoning ordinances, building codes, and residence life rules and regulations are being considered as part of the current exploratory phase.

“Student learning objectives associated with tiny living will be meaningfully integrated into tiny house linked coursework,” Boylan said. “This novel educational model which incorporates tiny living into the student’s academic experience will position Westminster College as an innovator in sustainability education.”

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