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Franklin County Habitat for Humanity finishes 30th house

February 03, 2013|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • A new Habitat for Humanity home is finished in Chambersburg, Pa., for Stephanie Wall and her children Ashley, Emily and Jesse.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Habitat for Humanity typically rehabilitates an existing house or builds a new one for families, but the 30th house dedicated in Franklin County, Pa., since 1994 proved to be unusual.

“This is the first home where we’ve done both,” joked Duane Bock, vice president of Habitat for Humanity of Franklin County.

Crews removing asbestos siding from the house on East Washington Street in the Borough of Chambersburg discovered loose bricks dumped between its interior and exterior walls. They determined it would be too difficult to renovate.

The existing house was demolished.

Volunteers with the Franklin County (Pa.) Builders Association did a two-day “blitz build” in June 2012 to create a new house on the lot. They built a 1,300-square foot, two-story house that features three bedrooms.

One of those bedrooms is now claimed by 14-year-old Ashley Martin, who is excited to no longer being sharing a room with her sister. She chose to incorporate nature themes when decorating her room.

Ashley’s family first slept in the home Wednesday after watching the progress for many months.

“We’d stop by and see it. ... I was excited to see it built,” Ashley said.

Ashley’s mother, Stephanie Wall, said she will remember the love that went into the house through 1,581 hours logged by volunteers.

“You don’t decide to take every Tuesday and Saturday morning to build somebody else’s home unless called by God to do that,” she said.

Wall, who was renting a town house before partnering with Habitat for Humanity, choked up as she addressed the volunteers packed shoulder to shoulder in her home during a dedication ceremony Sunday.

“I refuse to cry in front of all of you. All I’ve got is ‘thank you,’ and that doesn’t even come close,” Wall said.

Wall was joined by Ashley and her other children — Emily Martin, 13, and Jesse Martin, 11.

Habitat for Humanity sells homes to partner families at cost and offers a home loan with zero percent interest.

Franklin County Commissioner Robert Ziobrowski said he used to live near Wall’s home. He said he always enjoyed the access to churches, shopping and kind families there.

“I think this neighborhood is blessed with the addition of another family,” he said.

Builders Terry Lautenslager, John Lehman and Bryan Hey participated in the blitz build. Lautenslager said 12 to 14 volunteers participated each day because they wanted to do good for the community.

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