In June, the Habitat for Humanity Builders Blitz constructed homes for three families in the Trail View Neighborhood, located northwest of downtown. Close to the intersection of Diamond Street and West Cottage Grove Avenue, and along the B-Line Trail, it is Habitat’s newest project and, when complete, will encompass 35 homes.
For this year’s Builders Blitz, eight construction companies joined forces to construct three dwellings — one freestanding structure and two halves of a paired home, similar to a traditional duplex — in less than two weeks. The ribbon cutting took place on June 17.
One notable aspect of the annual Builders Blitz is that it provides an opportunity for companies that are ordinarily competitors to work together for a good cause. This year, Bailey & Weiler Design/Build partnered with Loren Wood Builders and Newhouse Construction to build one half of the paired home; the other side was built by G&S Homes and Rubicon Construction. The freestanding house was built by John Ingram Builder, Craft Construction, and Blue Line Building & Design.
“The builders get a lot of the credit,” acknowledges Don Weiler of Bailey & Weiler Design/Build, “but in reality, the credit goes to everybody who participates. It’s a shared contribution by a lot of people, which makes for a very affordable home.” Each construction company, he explains, leverages help from its materials suppliers and subcontractors. As a result, “there are hundreds of people who end up donating their time and materials or heavily discounting their time and materials,” Weiler says.
This year, Habitat for Humanity received a special donation toward the cost of the home that Bailey & Weiler Design/Build helped construct: a $27,000 sponsorship from University Baptist Church on East 3rd Street. “The pastor is Annette Hill Briggs,” notes Weiler. “We remodeled her kitchen last year, and as we were working, we were talking about Habitat. It’s the 50th anniversary of their congregation this year, so they were looking for a keystone project. While the church did not have the construction expertise, their incredible gift of financial support and volunteer labor built a home. It was a great partnership.”
Hill Briggs says the gift is a meaningful way to celebrate a milestone. “$27,000 is more than a quarter of our annual church budget, so it truly is a major gift for us. But we see it as a joyful, grateful leap of faith into the next 50 years of our life together.”