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Building the Future
Feature Feb 01, 2022

Building the Future

NARI Show to Feature Playhouses Built by Local Vocational Students


(Cleveland) –In an effort to attract more young people into the building trades, organizers with the NARI Home Improvement Show have teamed up with four local career centers, Medina County Career Center, Lorain County Joint Vocational School (JVS), Auburn Career Center and Lakeland Community College/ Tri-C College.


All students are in the process of building three customized playhouses, which will be on display at the show where attendees can vote and bid on each structure. The winners will receive scholarships from NARI to advance their career in construction.


“We really need students, parents and the public to understand and appreciate the importance of the trades and what they can become,” said Mark Maltry, President of NARI Greater Cleveland. Maltry is an Auburn Career Center graduate and now partner in JEMM Construction LLC., a major home builder and award-winning remodeler in Northeast Ohio.



To move the projects along, NARI members secured donations from local suppliers for the playhouses. When the materials arrived at Auburn Career Center, Robert Hill, who taught construction there for over three decades decided to let the students imagination go to work.


“They came up with the modern farmhouse design, which is quite popular now,” said Hill, who was impressed with the students’ attention to detail by topping off the roof with a cupola and weathervane, then adding some handmade furniture for the deck area.


“A number of students will be at the convention center prior to the show to assist in building the feature areas and Auburn’s horticulture students will be constructing and planting bushes and flowers in pots around the playhouse,” said Maltry, who plans to build a She-Shed, while fellow remodeler Brian Pauley of Remodel Me Today is working on a He-Shed, items that have gained much popularity in the pandemic for people who wanted space outside the home.



Lorain County JVS programs working on the NARI Home Improvement Show playhouse project include:


  • Carpentry
  • Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Industrial Electricity
  • Masonry Trades


Size will be: 8x12x11 feet


Style: Log Cabin


Cabin features will include (some of these might adjust as the project moves forward)


  • Heating and air
  • Electric
  • USB plugs
  • Color changing LED lights
  • 2ndfloor loft
  • Metal roof
  • Stone or brick front facing accent
  • Dutch door



Todd Mason is the instructor at the Medina Career Center and his class of 26 students designed an 8' x 10' playhouse featuring an interior rock climbing wall leading to a loft with a fireman's pole.


“They created blueprints, material estimates, and even a scale model created on our 3D printer. The playhouse will also be equipped with electric outlets for a gaming center and multi-color LED lighting,” said Mason.




On opening day, March 25, 2022, The Auburn and Medina Career Center students will be having a field trip to meet with remodelers and vendors with resumes in hand along with tasks assigned by their teachers.


The 2022 NARI Home Improvement Show will take place Friday, March 25 from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m., Saturday, March 26, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, March 27, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $14.00 and can be purchased in advance at or at the box office.