Keller ISD teacher, students converting school bus into home on wheels

A Keller ISD teacher and a group of students are working together to convert a school bus into a mobile home.

A Keller ISD teacher and a group of students are working together to convert a school bus into a mobile home.

A Keller ISD teacher and group of students are braving Texas summer temperatures as they convert an old school bus into a home on wheels.

Since the beginning of June, Matt Quattlebaum and 10-20 students have been meeting twice a week to work on what the group calls the “skoolie.” Their aim is to convert the bus into an RV-like living space.

So far, the group has removed the bus’s seats and the rubber matting on the bus’s floor. They have also insulated and painted the floor to make it rust proof.

Next steps will include framing each of the skoolie’s living areas. Once completed, the bus will have about 200 square feet of livable space complete with vinyl flooring, cabinets and storage, a kitchen, a shower, a composting toilet, and living room and bedroom space.

Quattlebaum also said the group wants to make the skoolie at least partially solar powered.

Quattlebaum, who teaches civil engineering and architecture at Keller Center for Advanced Learning, said he has been a fan of the tiny-house movement, which advocates for creating and living in small homes. He and his family have built their own tiny cabin.

When he saw an old school bus in a KCAL parking lot, he saw the opportunity for another small living space. KISD had originally planned to convert the bus into a mobile classroom but decided to use a trailer instead.

Quattlebaum learned that the district planned to get rid of the bus and pitched the skoolie idea.

From there, he began recruiting students to help repurpose the bus. The group working on the skoolie includes a group of Quattlebaum’s students, as well as students from KCAL’s construction, automotive and interior design programs and other KISD high schools.

“I want to be an architect and this project is an interactive way to understand what goes into building a house,” said Gabriella Doe, an incoming sophomore at Timbercreek High School.

The skoolie will take about two years to complete, Quattlebaum estimates. Once the 2019-20 school year starts, the group will be working around schoolwork and extracurricular activities.

The project is also looking for funding to continue converting the bus. Quattlebaum was able to begin work using $150 left over in his engineering budget during the 2018-19 school year. KCAL also gave him another $1,000 to buy paint to insulate the bus’s floor.

Quattlebaum said he hopes to start a booster club for the project. He would also like to work with the KISD community to fund and find the supplies needed for the skoolie.

“Ideally, we'd like for this to be a community project,” Quattlebaum added. “It's all students doing it. I'd like for them to be able to connect with community partners that want to help in whatever way.”

Plans have not been finalized on what will happen to the skoolie once it is is completed. But Quattlebaum and his students hope to use it to benefit the community.

“I thought it would be a good opportunity to create something for a good cause,” said Jonathan Duhan, an incoming sophomore at Timbercreek High School.

Keep track of the skoolie's continued progress through its Instagram account and Tik Tok account.


(Courtesy Jeff Lowery)
Horizon76 American Grill House planning to open in Keller in early 2020

Horizon76 American Grill House is slated to open in February at 1821 S. Main St., Keller.

The Lost Cajun has operated for a year in Keller as of Dec. 10. (Courtesy The Lost Cajun)
The Lost Cajun passes one-year milestone in Keller

The Lost Cajun celebrated its first anniversary Dec. 10 at 721 Keller Parkway, Ste. 116, Keller.

brownie sundae with a red spoon
Dairy Queens now closed in Keller, Roanoke, Fort Worth area

Nine area Dairy Queen locations are closed until further notice, according to signage posted on doors. These spots opened between 2013 and 2016.

(Renee Yan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Roanoke officials discuss possibility of free valet service in upcoming development

Roanoke City Council is considering a proposal for a complimentary, off-site valet system for a commercial space slotted in the upcoming Roanoke City Center.

Filing for the March 2020 primaries opened on Nov. 9. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Here's a list of candidates running in the 2020 primary for Texas, Tarrant County offices

The deadline for candidates to appear on the March 3 primary election ballot passed 6 p.m. Dec. 9.

The Learning Experience will open a new center in Keller in fall 2020. (Courtesy The Learning Experience)
Early childhood education center to open in Keller in 2020

The Learning Experience is projected to open in fall 2020 at 150 Ridge Point Parkway, Keller.

(Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Here's a list of candidates running in the 2020 primary for Texas, Denton County offices

Lewisville, Flower Mound and Highland Village voters will have the chance to go to the polls March 3 to vote in local, state and national elections.

cars driving in wet snowy weather
Keller, Roanoke, Fort Worth prepares for wintry conditions Dec. 9-10

The cities of Keller, Roanoke and Fort Worth are prepared as the National Weather Service forecasts dropping temperatures and increasing chances of rain during the evening of Dec. 9 through the next morning.

throwing axe with head caught in bullseye of red wood target
Smoking Axes adds to Keller's entertainment options

Smoking Axes opened Dec. 6 at 790 S. Main St., Ste. 400, Keller.

flu shot
Child dies from flu as cases in Tarrant County increase, health officials report

Tarrant County health officials reported that a child has died from the flu this season—the first reported pediatric death in the county since 2015, according to a news release.

About 3,000 Fort Worth water customers could have had their credit card information stolen following a security incident. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Security incident affects about 3,000 Fort Worth water customers

The city of Fort Worth is advising its water customers to pay close attention to credit card statements after a security incident may have compromised residents’ information.

(Courtesy city of Fort Worth)
Aerospace, defense company to expand presence to Fort Worth Alliance Airport

Fort Worth City Council approved Dec. 3 a lease agreement to allow aerospace and defense company Paramount Aerospace Systems USA use of 22,000 square feet of space at the Alliance Maintenance Facility located at 2070 Eagle Parkway, Fort Worth.

Back to top