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Habitat House Dedication is Sunday, June 17

 

June 14, 2018

Photo courtesy of John Kimpel

The Grunewald family at the beginning of the project, with the now demolished home in the background.

Green County Habitat for Humanity is hosting an open house and dedication for its latest project, a home in New Glarus at 100 First Avenue. Everyone is welcome to join the festivities from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., on Sunday, June 17, to take a look inside the new house and enjoy refreshments and a brief program.

The Habitat house, which will soon be the Greg Grunewald family home, was a community project. In typical Habitat fashion, the home was largely built by volunteers. Most of the work was performed by volunteers ranging from teenagers, seniors, librarians and lawyers, even whole family groups. Steve Zuber was the Contractor and Roger Lind served as Foreman.

Carol Holmes, Co-Chair of the construction committee, has commented throughout that this project that it was an exceptional one. Volunteer days were Wednesdays and Fridays.

"We generally had between ten and 14 people show up," she reports.

Carol and co-volunteer Leah Hanson put in countless hours and were the go-to people who needed to make decisions, sometimes on the spot.

Many good things came up along the way: a special deal on the roofing saved time and money, high-end cabinetry and siding were donated, the huge landscaping rocks were offered at a fraction of the ordinary price, people with professional experience turned up just at the right time. Stuff appeared, deals were struck to keep costs down. There was always coffee, soda, water and food for the volunteers, thanks to other volunteers. The project has also meant additional paid work for contractors and professionals throughout the county.

Work began in August of last year. The site was inhabited by an old Victorian home which was so neglected that the New Glarus village was happy to see it go for county back taxes; Habitat arranged for the demolition and the work began. The new place is an attractive contemporary home with enough space for the Grunewald family to enjoy the kids' growing up years.

Greg Grunewald is a single dad, raising his kids on his own. In August he said, "nothing like this had happened to me before," referring to being awarded the home. After the surprise wore off, he realized he was also in for at least 150 volunteer work hours on the home, a requirement that future owners make a sweat equity investment in their own place. Greg found time between a full-time job at Jack Links and raising his children to put in his hours.

One of the things that trouble the planners is the weather. Heavy rain has prevented plans for seeding grass and modest landscaping as they planned. A sidewalk and driveway are also planned. Some gorgeous large rocks are in place but it's undeniably rough and muddy.

The public is urged to use their imagination, wear old shoes and join the volunteers and the Grunewald family to celebrate a home.

New Glarus is known to the outside world for its festivals and fine beer, but locals also know it is a community with a large heart.

 
 

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