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Habitat frames walls on Wellton duplex
The echoes of hammers striking nails rang out over a Wellton neighborhood as the sun rose Saturday morning during the Habitat for Humanity frame-a-thon event.
About 35 volunteers, who were gathered at a job site located at the intersection of San Jose Avenue and Fresno Street, worked together to construct the framework for a new duplex being built by the nonprofit organization.
When the volunteers arrived near dawn they found only a concrete foundation. By 11 a.m., nearly all the exterior framework for one half of the duplex had been completed and workers continued to build the interior framework. The framework for the other half of the duplex is expected to be completed next Saturday.
“The biggest task we have is raising the walls,” said Frank Carrillo, Yuma-area Habitat executive director, who was pleased with the number of volunteers who came to help.
“That is actually a good number. We tend to stay out of each other's way. We can designate those who are going to assemble the walls, those who will assemble the headers, and those who will cut or haul lumber. There is a little bit of work for everybody.”
The volunteers included both skilled and nonskilled laborers.
“We have a real good diversity,” Carrillo said. “That is the beauty of it being a Habitat volunteer type of project – each one brings separate skills. We have people who have retired from the construction trade and we have some I kiddingly give the label of ‘lightning,' because they don't hit the same spot twice,” he joked.
Regardless of their skill, a pair of hands and a strong back go a long way, Carrillo said.
“These guys are awesome.”
Also volunteering were the plans examiner and the building inspector for Yuma County.
“They have donated their time and keep us all pretty much in order of what we need to do,” Carrillo said. “That makes it move a lot faster.”
The volunteers donated their time to help families in need, Carrillo said.
“They want to help their community. They understand that if you are able to help families grow and flourish, you are able to help the community do the same.”
Carrillo is grateful to all the volunteers and business entities whose time and donations made the duplex possible.
“There have been a lot of people in the community and a lot of businesses who have helped us out by reducing the overall cost for us and we are greatly appreciative of that and of course all the volunteers,” he said.
The project will continue each Saturday from 7 a.m. to about 2 p.m.
Habitat for Humanity is still accepting volunteers who are willing to work on Saturdays. Volunteers must wear close-toed shoes and take necessary precautions to protect themselves from sun exposure. They must also RSVP prior to construction days by calling 783-3993.
“We want to give other people a chance to swing a hammer,” Carrillo said.
Each half of the duplex will have 1,152 square feet of living space, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, kitchen, dining area, porch, patio and a carport.
Habitat for Humanity has already chosen one family to occupy one half of the duplex and is considering a second family for the second half.
The organization hopes to have the duplex completed and ready for occupation by Dec. 25, “so we can give it to the family as a Christmas present,” Carrillo said.
But if the construction is delayed for unforeseeable reasons, the next target date would be on Jan. 1, 2012.
“New year, new beginning, new home,” Carrillo said.
Chris McDaniel can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6849.