Students rehab Habitat house
HAMMOND — A veteran is going to get a new house for what it cost to rehab it.
The work is thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Indiana, the Hammond Area Career Center, North Township Trustee Frank Mrvan and dozens of other people who donated to the cause.
Mrvan donated the home at in the 6600 block of Tennessee Avenue in Hammond to Habitat for Humanity. The house had been empty for almost 10 years. Numerous organizations and individuals donated money to remodel the house including the Hessville Eagles Riders No. 3117 and the Hammond Elks No. 0485.
Habitat for Humanity partnered with the Hammond Area Career Center, and students in the construction technology class are getting real-world experience by gutting and rebuilding the house.
Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Dan Klein said they have built 68 homes so far, and this is their second Veterans Build house. He said they also have identified another veteran for another house but need to begin raising money for that one.
“Things were falling down in this house, and by partnering with the Hammond Area Career Center, the students have cleaned up the house and have already installed windows and are working on the newly designed interior,” Klein said.
He said much of the teamwork started with the Northwest Indiana Veterans Action Council.
Klein said they will invest about $60,000 to repair the house. Klein said the house is not a gift. It will be sold to the recipient for abpit $60,000.
Ron Kimbrough, of Gary, a Marine Corps veteran who served four years, will buy the house. He said he learned about the program through another veteran.
“I did some work like this when I was in school years ago at Horace Mann in Gary,” he said. “I go over there to see the progress almost every day.”
Hammond Area Career Center Principal Mike Zimmerman said they were fortunate to have students work on a project where the could get real-world experience.
Scott Ciupak, the instructor of the construction technology class at the career center, said students began working on the house in September.
“We cleaned it out, took down the interior walls, all the leftover material, tore off two layers of siding, and now we are working on replacing it. We’re working on putting on foam house wrap, and we will be framing walls.”
The ranch style house is a two-bedroom, one bathroom home.
As part of the program, Kimbrough is required to work a minimum of 300 hours at the house and attend a class on financing and budgeting. He retired from the former Inland Steel Co., now ArcelorMittal in East Chicago. He also spent 30 years selling cars at Gillespie Ford in Gary and River Oaks Toyota in Calumet City.
“I hear it’s going to be ready in June. I’m ready to move in right now,” he said.