Virginia Tech graduates work to turn school bus into home

SML School Bus Residence
Published: Jan. 4, 2021 at 5:54 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - On a cold winter’s day at Smith Mountain Lake, boats are not docked. Most are stored several yards away close to where construction is happening on another mode of transportation, and soon-to-be home.

Nik Weinmeister is the chief handyman.

Lauren, his wife, is the design expert.

”It’s a 2005 international school bus from Loudoun County, Virginia, and we got it back in November of 2019,” said Lauren.

Together their dream is to travel the country with their bus, affectionately named “Big Shirley.”

”We definitely wanted to be on the road by September. Coronavirus threw a wrench in that, but we’re back fully working, we come out every evening working, doing something and every weekend we’re here full time,” said Lauren.

Time is something Big Shirley has taken a lot of: from ripping out the seats, painting over bright yellow to an earthy green, and building things like a kitchen, shower and bedroom, the couple, nicknamed the “Wandering Weinmeisters,” still has about three months of work ahead of them.

”We have our kitchen. The faucet isn’t installed yet but Nik did install the sink. Everything will have a matte black finish.”

The current project is a deck, along with continual education about school bus living.

”Ideally this is our home, we hope to head out west with it, and buy some property and just kind of make our own roots, but we might end up loving somewhere on the east coast,” said Lauren.

A home that, right now, has a pretty good view.

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