Summerville Journal Scene Article

Author: melissa  |  Category: Time Frame Updates

Published Tuesday, July 29, 2008 5:43 PM
Updated Tuesday, July 29, 2008 5:44 PM

Stefan Rogenmoser
Community businesses and volunteers came together to help build Carol’s House.

Stefan Rogenmoser
The Schumacher Homes framing crew of volunteers worked all day Thursday, framing most of Carol Armstrong’s Home by the end of \their first day on the job.

Carol’s Home on its way

By noon most of the framing was up, and James, Carol, and Alexander Armstrong grilled hot dogs for everyone. The Charleston Trident Home Builder’s Association (CTHBA) provided dessert; hot honey-drenched sopaipillas.
Progress is fast. The crew of about ten framers framed about 80% of the house by the end of the day, said Phillip Ford, Executive Vice-President of CTHBA.

The idea behind the house goes back several years, after Carol Armstrong was beaten severely and robbed in 2002, leaving her partially paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. She has trouble moving through the narrow hallways of her current house, and in her new handicap-accessible home she’ll have the comfort of mobility and space.

“Carol will be able to get to every room in the house except the frog,” said site supervisor Jordy Tupper of G Tupper III construction.

When Ford heard of Carol’s situation about two years ago he knew something had to be done; he got the CTHBA board to approve building a better-suited home for Carol.

Tupper thinks the house will be complete in two-and-one-half months, but said they still have monetary needs for interior trim, windows, and pocket doors. Donations can be made at any area Wachovia bank. Tupper emphasized that they also need volunteer cleanup crews.

So far all the work and supplies have been probono for the Armstrongs, given by the kindness of strangers who Carol says treat her like family or life-long friends.

“Somebody just had to step up to the plate and do it,” said Andy Barber of ProBuild, who provided all the lumber and roof trusses. “We fabricate our own roof trusses and all the major lumber companies gave us discounts,” he said.

Melissa Villegas, one of CTHBA’s organizers, said the largest donation so far is from Concrete On Demand, a local family-owned company that donated $10,000 in concrete; they also cemented the house’s foundation.

“Melissa’s the key. She puts her heart into it, she’s awesome, she’ s something words can’t describe,” Carol said. Carol is one of the kindest and most grateful people around. Tupper said her strong faith has helped her keep a positive attitude.

“Elated. Astonished. Impressed,” is all Carol could say about the building of her home. She’s praying for the safety of the crew and is glad everyone’s getting along. “There hasn’t been any yelling or cussing,” she said.

The only problem, Carol said, was the old blueprint was somehow incorrect. The ashes of the incorrect blueprint blew away with the wind in front of the construction site. After the old blueprint was burned a new one was made and work carried on. After lunch the workers had already particle-boarded the walls of what will be Alexander’s room, Carol said.

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