While it may seem that we are in an “in between” lull right now at Habitat, forces behind the scenes of building sites are fast at work, rest assured. Just to re-cap, or to let those not up to speed know…construction at the home in West Yellowstone is now complete, save for a few small details that will be addressed in the coming weeks. Maria and her boys should soon be moving into their new home! They attended the banquet last week, and seem to be very excited. It was great to see them make the long drive up for the special dedication for the benefit of the dedicated group of volunteers that put up with the long drives, the winter conditions, and the short work days to build what turned out to be a beautiful home.
Speaking of volunteers, if you did not attend the banquet that Habitat puts on every winter for the volunteers, then you missed a great time of “Thanks” given, and yet another great meal at the Holiday Inn this year.
Our next “new” construction project is well into its planning stages already, and has been for some time. Think One, the architectural firm, has been working with Habitat dealing with the many details involved in readying the process towards building a pair of duplex units in Belgrade, near the new Airport interchange with I-90. There are a lot of details indeed, including re-zoning for the smaller sized units (originally the lot was zoned for a 6-plex), and fitting the new planned units into the size constraints, as well as Grant details and other concerns. We plan to break ground in early spring, and we’ll be off once again. Stay tuned…
In other news, we continue to move forward with the Gustafson project – to add a bedroom/bathroom to an already existing partner family home. This project, due to the added burdens of building within the Bozeman city limits, requires much planning and engineering, and hoops to jump through just to get started in what otherwise would be a fairly simply project. It has dragged on too long, and our frustrations with the delays are coming to a head….so we are putting quite a “push” to our efforts here to get this done for the Gustafson family. This should happen in the coming weeks as well.
One of the highlights of this past year has been using the SIPS panel construction (SIPS stands for Structurally Insulated Panels) in the home in West Yellowstone – our first such construction – and we are excited to integrate this building system into future projects as well. This past week, the Wednesday volunteers, the office staff, and myself…all toured the facilities of Big Sky Insulation where this process is manufactured. What a great tour, and greater understanding for all of us about “how” this all works. Expect to see us using this in our upcoming builds, including the duplexes that are now in the planning stages!
These “in-between” weeks for the volunteers are being filled with lots of punch-list items, tool-trailer maintenance, tool inventory and cleaning/maintenance, educational training, and readying ourselves for the upcoming projects and the changes in our building process’ expected. We are not idle.
If you want to become a regular Habitat volunteer, either on the construction crew, or in any of the other capacities we have and need around the ReStore or Office…let our staff know, please.
We will see you out there! – Mark Baker, Construction Supervisor