Volunteers contribute to Fuller Center project in Craig
Craig resident Donna Johnson said she was amazed at how many people volunteered Saturday to help tear down the Simmons Rooming House on Yampa Avenue.
“We were expecting nine or 10 people, but we had about 16, all together,” she said.
Johnson is the deconstruction superintendent for the Moffat County Fuller Center for Housing, a faith-based group that is renovating the Simmons House into affordable housing for local families.
Volunteers worked for five hours Saturday getting exterior materials off the house and tearing down walls inside.
By June, Johnson said the hope is that the house will be completely torn down and construction can start on a two-story duplex for low- to moderate-income families.
Work began at 9 a.m. Saturday and finished at 2 p.m. Inclement weather prompted work scheduled for Sunday to be cancelled.
Vicki Burns, a Moffat County Fuller Center board member, said the main goal for the weekend was to remove metal materials from the house, which would be sold to generate money for the project.
Volunteers ranged in age and profession, attracting all demographics from students to retirees.
Leonel Chavez, a 19-year-old Craig resident, was at the work day with his father, Bacho, and brother, Zeke.
Inside the house, Leonel helped tear down walls while his father scraped siding from outside of the house.
“This (sledgehammer) is heavy, but it’s worth it taking down the walls,” he said. “(The work) is a little harder than I thought it was going to be, but it’s all good. It’s helping out the community.”
Johnson said that despite having the weekend shortened, volunteers were able to accomplish what they hoped.
“We have a little more siding to pull off, but we got more than I expected to get done,” she said.
Volunteers salvaged both metal and firewood from the project. Burns said the Fuller Center wants to recycle as much of the house as possible.
“We’re trying to minimize the trash and minimize what we put in the landfill by recycling as much as possible, whether it’s the firewood, the branches for mulch or the aluminum,” she said. “Anything we can recycle, we’re going to be recycling.”
Once the old house is torn down, work will start on the planned duplex.
Burns said plans for the building have been drawn, but haven’t gotten approval from city officials.
Families that move into the duplex will pay an interest-free mortgage, Burns said.
The project will get help from other Fuller Center members in July, when a group of 30 to 40 bike riders comes through Craig as part of a two-month trip sponsored by the national Fuller Center.
The trip goes from Seattle to Washington, D.C., and riders will help with projects on the route, Burns said.
More volunteer work days are planned for the project and no experience is needed.
The next will be at 9 a.m. on April 23, Johnson said.
“If we could get another really good turnout … that would just be awesome,” Johnson said.
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