A little house with a big following soon will be added to the Westminster College campus.
In February, Westminster officials notified New Wilmington Borough council of plans to participate in the Tiny House Movement. The college planned to construct a small living space — 100- to 400-square-feet —and provide students with the opportunity to live in the building for a week or two at a time to see what it is like to live with less.
Helen Boylan, a chemistry professor who is coordinator of the college’s tiny house environmental science project, updated council last week, noting the construction phase of the project is about to begin.
Boylan said only students enrolled in tiny house-linked coursework will be eligible to live in the structure and only for a short period.
“This will add to their educational experience,” she said, noting student volunteers already are signing up. They represent several disciplines, she said, including liberal arts and business as well as environmental science and sustainability courses.
A tiny house of 160 square feet of living space is still being designed, Boylan said. It will cost $20,000 to $50,000 to construct. Donations to the project may be made by contacting the Westminster Advancement Office.
She said the unit will “be as off the grid as possible,” and except for electricity will not be tied to public utilities. Plans are to install solar panels with battery backup to provide a significant portion of electrical needs, install a rainwater collection system, use propane for heating and a composting toilet.
“It will be aesthetically pleasing,” she said, noting that local architect Jeremy Beatty of Eckles Architecture Engineering is participating with the student-led project team. The tiny house will be built on a trailer so it can be moved to various locations throughout the campus, the borough and surrounding townships.