"This has been a collaboration with the Hi-Point students in the construction technology class, and it started in January of 2009," said Carol Scheiderer, UCBDD executive assistant superintendent. "The neat thing is that they needed a place to start building the house in the winter time, and it happened that the (Marysville-based) U-CO (Industries) board had some space behind their workshop. So the house has been under construction inside U-CO Industries on Square Drive."

By LIN RICE

ThisWeek Community Newspapers

Now that students at the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center have finished transforming construction materials into a house, a pair of Union County Board of Developmental Disabilities (UCBDD) clients may start turning it into a home.

Hi-Point and UCBDD members last week dedicated a plot of land on West Eighth Street in Marysville. The vacant land will become the new home of Chelsea Babione and Elaine Pope in the summer.

The house is built, and they have the land. The house is not on their land, however.

"This has been a collaboration with the Hi-Point students in the construction technology class, and it started in January of 2009," said Carol Scheiderer, UCBDD executive assistant superintendent. "The neat thing is that they needed a place to start building the house in the winter time, and it happened that the (Marysville-based) U-CO (Industries) board had some space behind their workshop. So the house has been under construction inside U-CO Industries on Square Drive."

The house will be the first of its kind built by students in a workshop specifically for individuals with disabilities, Delaware Creative Housing executive director Michael Corbett said during the dedication.

"This has been a lot of collaboration, with a lot of partners, but this is all about Chelsea and Elaine," he said. "This is going to be their home."

About 18,000 hours of labor over two years were needed to complete the house, according to Scheiderer. About 50 students worked on the construction, adapting designs to cater to disabled residents. A new 16-foot bay door had to be built into the side of the U-CO Industries workshop so that the project could be moved.

"We knew we were going to be able to get this done, and we weren't going to hold things up on little details like a door," UCBDD executive director Kim Miller said during the dedication.

Although foundation work began at the property on May 25, Miller said, the house will be brought to the property in two weeks, and the residents should be able to move in over the summer.

At a total cost of $100,000, paying for the project also was a joint effort, Scheiderer said. The land and preparation work were funded via the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program, with funds accessed by the county commissioners ($50,000). Capital funds from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities will pay for about 80 percent ($40,000) of the project, with the final 20 percent ($10,000) paid by UCBDD through local funds.

Commissioner Charles Hall said the location of the house at 310 W. Eighth St. has a special significance.

"This property had a house on it that burned down, and it's appropriate that something like this will come out of the ashes," he said.

Babione said she is excited to move into the new house with her new roommate. Pope said she was able to catch a glimpse during construction.