A friendly rivalry between the University of Tennessee and Virginia Tech to build playhouses will help support the Holston Habitat for Humanity.

As a result, Hokie fans have the chance to have a mini Burruss Hall in their backyard built by students from Virginia Tech and Tennessee fans can enter to win Smokey’s Playhouse.

The contest was created to raise funds and awareness of the mission of Holston Habitat for Humanity, which builds homes for qualifying low-income families in Carter, Sullivan, and Washington counties, Tennessee, and Bristol, Virginia. The organization invited the Myers-Lawson School of Construction at Virginia Tech and the University of Tennessee College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources to construct playhouses that are fun reflections of their university for children ages three and older. Both playhouses are designed and built to meet standards set in the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Outdoor Home Playground Safety Handbook.

Raffle tickets are available through the Holston Habitat for Humanity website. The winners will be drawn on Sept. 16, 2016, concurrent with the Virginia Tech versus University of Tennessee Battle at Bristol football game at the Bristol Motor Speedway.

In the weeks leading up to the game, the two houses will be displayed at a variety of locations and events in Virginia and Tennessee. A schedule of the tour will be posted on the Holston Habitat for Humanity’s website. As part of the tour, Virginia Tech's house will appear in Blacksburg during Steppin' Out Aug. 5 and 6. 

To add to the excitement of competition, Holston Habitat for Humanity will present an award to the university whose playhouse garners the most ticket sales.  

Four senior and rising senior building construction majors designed and built the Virginia Tech playhouse: Ben Carpenter, of Purcellville, Virginia; Colin Miller, of Virginia Beach, Virginia; Trevor Stanley, of Rocky Mount, Virginia; and Tim Tran, of Keezletown, Virginia. Hannah McDorman, of Linville, Virginia, a rising fourth-year architecture major assisted with the renderings and Bob Muir, a professor of practice in the Myers-Lawson School of Construction, was the faculty leader for the project.

“Building this playhouse will ultimately assist Holston Habitat for Humanity in building ‘homes, communities, and hope,’ while also engaging Virginia Tech’s Myers-Lawson School of Construction students in hands-on service learning, providing them with an opportunity to transform our motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) from words into deeds,” said Brian Kleiner, Ralph H. Bogle Professor and director of the Myers-Lawson School of Construction.

Holston Habitat for Humanity is a 501(c) 3 organization, affiliated with Habitat for Humanity International. By partnering with thousands of volunteers in these communities over the past 30 years, Holston Habitat has provided affordable, energy-efficient homes for 264 local families, including their 600 children.    

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