The Shipwreck-themed house had a ship's wheel, small telescope and mini rock climbing wall.
The Zip Line House featured a zip line for sliding down from the second level to the ground.
The Flag House, with its red, white and blue colors, featured a flagpole that doubled as a way to get from the second level to the first.
And the Rocket Ship House looked like just that with fins, round windows and a curved ladder to get inside.
The one-of-a-kind creations were unveiled at FRESH by Brookshire's in Tyler on Thursday to much fanfare from local architects, contractors and a nonprofit organization.
The PLAYhouse project as it is called represents a collaboration between Tyler ISD, Fitzpatrick Architects and Habitat for Humanity of Smith County, not to mention the four local construction companies that sponsored each of the houses.
Garrett & Associates General Contractors sponsored the Shipwreck House.
HGR General Contractors sponsored the Zip Line House.
RPR Construction Co. sponsored the Flag House.
And WRL General Contractors sponsored the Rocket Ship House.
The playhouses designed and built by the Lee students with the help of the architects and contractors are being auctioned off to benefit Habitat for Humanity of Smith County.
The project is the first of its kind for these entities and is something that TISD plans to do again next year with one change. They will expand it to include John Tyler High School.
“We just can't say enough about our community and how blessed we are to be here and to work with TISD for the benefit of Habitat,” Brandy Ziegler, partner and project architect with Fitzpatrick Architects and one of several people involved in the project, said Thursday during the unveiling ceremony.
The event took some cues from the television show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
With a school bus parked directly in front of the houses, representatives from each entity spoke about the project before getting audience members to yell, “Move that bus!” as they do on the show.
With the bus out of the way, the playhouses came into full view of the crowd and the unique features stood out.
Lee seniors Shawn Lawrence, 17, and Brendon Kortmann, 19, worked on building the Zip Line and Shipwreck houses, respectively.
“At first we were a little skeptical about how it would turn out, but in the end … I feel like really proud of what happened,” Kortmann said.
Lawrence thanked his fellow construction students for their part in the project as well as the architecture students and the contractors who assisted.
He said through the project he learned more about coordinating plans and leadership. Kortmann said he learned more about woodworking.
Lee seniors Nick Montgomery, 17, and Cody Williams, 18, created the architectural designs for the Zip Line House.
Williams said it was great to see the finished project and to know that kids are going to have fun and play in the houses.
“It makes me feel really good about what we did,” he said.
Montgomery said it was awesome to see the finished project. He said as architecture students they have designed many things in their three years in the classes.
But with this project, they were able to see it from start to finish — creating sketches, drafts, and models, then watching the construction students build it. Montgomery said it was a very rewarding experience.
Crystal Forrest, TISD director of career and technical education, said TISD's career and technical education program is designed to be rigorous and relevant.
“This project has been a perfect example of what learning and our programs are all about,” she said.
Lee teachers Nick Bledsoe and Bobby Richardson, who teach architecture and construction, respectively, participated and led the students.
Deanna Harrison, director of development for Habitat for Humanity of Smith County, thanked everyone who participated in the project, especially those professionals who worked with the students.
“You have given so much and received nothing in return except for the satisfaction that comes with working with students,” she said.
She said Habitat is committed to eradicating substandard housing in this community.
Because of that, the nonprofit wanted to raise awareness about its work to eliminate this issue, she said.
Through this project, they joined with schools and businesses in working to improve the community and the lives of local residents.
All bidding for the auctions will be conducted online in a manner similar to eBay. The auction is open for bidding now until Dec. 17.