MARION - Work began this week on a new Habitat for Humanity home on North Washington street in Marion.
Melinda Mercer and her three teenage sons will be the occupants come November if construction goes according to plan.
Project superintendent Dan Boner said the house will feature three bedrooms and two baths with a front porch and driveway. It will include all new appliances.
Boner said the home will have a resale value of about $60,000 and monthly payments will range anywhere from $375 to $425.
"You can't find an apartment in town for that price," he said.
Boner said there is a common misconception from the public that the recipient of a Habitat for Humanity home doesn't have to do anything to be awarded one.
"The new homeowner must work for it and pay for it," he said. "You must put in 200 hours of sweat equity and make all monthly payments. If that is the case over a 10-year period, Habitat for Humanity picks up the second mortgage."
Boner added that each recipient goes through a thorough vetting process before being selected.
Construction got underway this week at the new location.
Students from Mike DeMattei's construction management program at John A. Logan College lent their own sweat equity to the project, assisting in the laying of floor decking and walls, as well as roof trusses and sheeting.
This weekend, volunteers from throughout the region will attach doors and windows.
Later, siding will be affixed to the frame. There will be work done to build a driveway, sidewalk, front porch, landscaping and much more.
"I'd like to see us get everything done a couple weeks before Thankgiving," Boner said.
DeMattei, who is retiring from Logan in about three weeks, has worked a number of Habitat for Humanity projects over the years.
"What I like most is that our kids get some actual (building) experience," he said. "And it's for a good cause, which makes it more enjoyable for all of us."
DeMattei said about 40 students in all are enrolled in construction management at the college. The vast majority of those volunteered at least a portion of their time with the Marion project.
To volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, contact Boner at (360) 333-2837.