By: James Pruitt
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
Under a bright blue sky and abundant sunshine, several dozen volunteers descended on Pioneer April 16 to help a local woman build her new house.
The sound of hammers hitting nails into wood and plywood filled the neighborhood as the Habitat for Humanity of Williams County made good on building a home for a local woman. While a lot of hard work was taking place, the mood was cheerful as everyone was united in spirit.
The event was the first of several Build Blitzes organized by the agency to construct a new home at 305 ½ Maple St. The blitz combined the talents of several experienced builders and the enthusiasm of scores of people from area churches, the local FFA program and people from the community.
“The village of Pioneer has been amazing, any that we needed,” Director Mary Ann Peters said. “This is mighty impressive what they have done.”
The goal April 16 was to get the walls and the trusses up with an eye toward putting the roof and siding on April 23 at another blitz, Director Mary Ann Peters said. Future blitzes will include interior work and landscaping as the family should move in the fall.
The weather was more than cooperative with temperatures in the low 70s. The last three years, the blitzes have been conducted in rain, Peters said. The group was prepared with tents for registration and the food, and floor mats, that proved unnecessary.
The future homeowner, Kayle Vasko, was busy hammering nails into the wood that will someday be the north wall of her home. She is required to put some sweat equity into the construction of her new home.
“It’s a little overwhelming,” Vasko said about the turnout during a break while a worker used a chainsaw to cut holes for windows in the plywood. “It is going up a lot faster than I expected.”
Vasko has two boys, Isaac 4, and Lincoln, 6, who while not at the site, are getting excited about being able to help next weekend and when they move in, their mom said.
“My boys are already picking out what they want for the new rooms,” Vasko said.
Volunteers Saturday morning included a contingent from Lake View United Brethren Church just over the state line in southern Michigan and a group of students from the North Central High School FFA program.
The church team were adorned in bright yellow shirts with their congregation’s name on it. They were part of the church’s men’s team and were recruited by their pastor, Steve Smith, Peters said.
The class spent eight months on building the shed for Vasko and the students brought it to the site and were helping move wood and plywood around to help with the build. The barn is unfinished and the class will add shingles and siding to the structure, sophomore Joe Galloway said.
The finished home will be about 1,100 to 1,200 square feet, Williams chapter Board President Steve Collins said earlier at a ground breaking. There is a 16-week schedule set to build the home, he said.
“It’s a modest home, but a very quality built home,” Collins said.
The home will cost about $60,000 to $70,000 to build, with hundreds of donated hours on top of that. The home will have a 20-year mortgage (cost of the build) which will be paid back at zero percent interest by Vasko. A secondary mortgage (for the appraised value) will be forgiven if the family remains in the home until the initial mortgage is paid back.
“That keeps them from in five years selling it and making a profit,” Peters said.
Founded in 1992, the Williams County chapter has provided ‘a hand up not a hand out’ by building houses throughout Williams County. This upcoming build will be the second Habitat house built in Pioneer.
The organization will post updates on its Facebook page.
For more information on volunteering at a future Build Blitz, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 419-636-9093.
James Pruitt may be reached at