top of page
topography of sagle bg.jpg

Basics Initiative

Construction Basics Initiative (CBI) is a program aims to equip youth with essential life skills and confidence to integrate effectively into society. Through learning basic building techniques and engaging in community service, students grasp the value of giving back and experience the satisfaction of completing projects for their community. Additionally, the initiative supports various non-profit missions and aids local municipalities by enhancing infrastructure. This multi-purpose endeavor addresses a significant gap in North Idaho's community programming, benefiting both underserved youth and the broader Bonner County community.
Youth measuring and planning a design project together
A group of youth in a building framework that they built, smiling for a photo
Two teenage boys working on a tree that they cut down themselves

Program Purpose

The purpose of Construction Basics Initiative is to provide under-served and at-risk students with the physical and mental tools they will need to transcend the challenges they will face in life using a unique hands-on model. Students will learn what we like to call, G.R.I.T.

Drawing plans and pencil



Gratitude is cultivated during CBI as youth develop appreciation for the teamwork involved, fostering a sense of thankfulness for the opportunities and contributions made during the construction process.

A hammer resting on a wooden surface



Respect is nurtured through CBI as individuals come to recognize the expertise, dedication, and craftsmanship involved, fostering a deep appreciation for the builders and the constructed environment.

A man working on a building frame



CBI teaches respect by highlighting to participants the intricate craftsmanship and collaborative effort required, fostering appreciation for both the builders and the constructed environment.

Electrican's Tools



CBI hones tenacity as participants encounter challenges, setbacks, and the perseverance required to overcome them, instilling a resilient determination to see projects through to completion.

Meet Steve,
CBI Program Director

Steve Holt has been in the trades for over 40 years, owning a Design/Build firm for 30 years where he developed a passion for architecture, construction, community development, and teaching. He built the Eureka Center, a 42-acre retreat, over the past 20 years, transforming bare land into its current state. Steve's early days involved sweating copper pipe before acquiring his General Contractor's license in the early '80s. He has participated in a wide variety of projects, from simple bath remodels to multimillion-dollar residential and commercial projects. His love for teaching inspired the creation of the Construction Basics Initiative, through which he has built a variety of community service projects, including bus shelters for the City of Sandpoint and Ponderay, a bunkhouse, several pole buildings, and benches for the Sandpoint Senior Center.

Steve Holt, Leader of the Constructions Basic Initiative at the Eureka Institute

CBI Projects:


SPOT Bus Shelter Program

The Eureka Institute’s Construction Basics Initiative and Sandpoint Pend Oreille Transportation Authority partnered together to build 10 covered shelters at bus stops at various locations in Sandpoint, Ponderay, Dover and Kootenai.

12' x 20' Bunkhouse
with 6' Covered Deck

The inaugural project for CBI was to build a bunkhouse. This project brought together two schools who laid the initial groundwork, from foundation to roof framing, completing interior paneling, constructing the front deck, and establishing the entryway.

7139595_orig (1).jpg

10' x 50' Pole Structure

Students successfully completed a remarkable project by harvesting trees on-site and erecting an entire structure in just four and a half days. The pole structure has become an invaluable asset for the Eureka Institute, particularly enhancing the success of the Sandpoint SummerFest, our organization's premier fundraiser.

Tiny House

Under the mentorship of the CBI program, a group of teenagers delved into the intricacies of construction by crafting a remarkable tiny home from the ground up. Through this immersive project, these young builders honed their skills while collaborating to bring their shared vision to life.

tiny house upsaled.jpg

Get Started with CBI

Do you have a group that could benefit from Constructions Basic Initiative? Fill out the form below and we'll get in touch for more information about your students and how we can collaborate. We're also always looking for more program leaders- if you have the know-hows of construction and want to donate your time, fill out the form below, too!

Thanks for submitting! We'll be in touch soon.

bottom of page