Building from the ground up; Habitat for Humanity Home underway

By: 
Jordan Gerard

It was a long time coming after the initial groundbreaking ceremony, but construction has finally started on the Habitat Home that will soon belong to Sherry Pitts and her four kids. 

Pitts has been working hard alongside the construction crewmembers, regular Habitat volunteers and groups of volunteers signed up for building days.

“I’m excited to be working on the house,” Pitts said. 

Volunteer groups have also been hard at work, Executive Director Kahya Fox said. Trinity Lutheran Church was the first team on site for the first day of construction. They had 10 volunteers per day for two days of building, and they worked quite fast.

“Construction Manager Jeremy Reed figured the group would be able to frame the garage in those two days, but the group proved to be far more productive than anticipated, and had the garage walls up in one day,” she said. 

Habitat staff quickly prepared more projects for the second day. Volunteers and the staff were rewarded with cookies homemade by a fellow volunteer.

About five more teams are signed up to help with building, including Spring Grove Communications, Spring Grove Lions Club, Spring Grove Women’s Build, Spring Grove School staff and Prince of Peace Lutheran Church.

The average Habitat Home uses an average of 175 volunteers and more than 2,500 hours to complete. Individuals or groups, construction experience or not, everyone is invited to help build the Heritage Home in Spring Grove, Fox said.

What’s more is the students who helped design the house from Karen Tisthammer’s Maker Space class have been dedicating their class time on Thursdays and Fridays to help build the house.

Some of the students are classmates of Pitts’ kids, and the class plans on helping until the home is complete.

So far students have helped install a garage window and assemble donation boards that will be seen in town.

As for the design of the house, a few modifications were made from the original design created by the students and local architectural designer Miranda Moen. Habitat staff worked with the architect, Paul Bryant-Fisher, to finalize the plans.

“Modifications had to be made to accommodate the family size, build-ability of the project using volunteer labor, as well as maintaining the budget and affordability of the home,” Fox added. 

With good weather, a large construction crew and a plethora of volunteers, the home should be ready by May 1, 2020. 

Fundraising

A fundraising event will be held on Thursday, Oct. 3, at RockFilter Distillery from 5 to 8 p.m. to help raise funds for the home. 

Tim Foss and Jeff Worrell will play classic Norwegian music featuring old-time, bluegrass and traditional fiddle tunes. 

Fat Pat’s Texas BBQ will bring their food truck and all the fixings for a good meal, while Yah Sure You Betcha Shoppe will offer Heritage House T-shirts.

As for beverages, RockFilter Distillery plans on making traditional Norwegian beverages. Raffle prizes will also be given away. 

Cost is a $10 cover charge at the door. All funds will benefit the home. 

Visit www.habitatlacrosse.org to see the schedule of build dates for the Heritage House and sign up to volunteer.