Habitat hoists a roof in Edwards | VailDaily.com

Habitat hoists a roof in Edwards

Emma Brown
Edwards, CO Colorado
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyEfren Chavez cuts wood for one of several Habitat Homes he is helping to build Wednesday in Edwards, Colorado.

EDWARDS, Colorado ” The roof is on, and building can continue through the winter in Edwards, Colorado.

Habitat for Humanity is having a “topping off” party Friday at a duplex the nonprofit organization is building in Edwards’ Fox Hollow complex.

“This is a big accomplishment by RA Nelson, otherwise we would have had to shut our doors till the snow melts,” said Kristi Moon, of Habitat for Humanity of Eagle and Lake Counties.

The project at Fox Hollow consists of 16 units to be completed by 2010. It’s the biggest and most ambitious in the local organization’s 13-year history. Habitat for Humanity is a national and international program that helps low-income families build and buy their own homes.

“Simple, decent and affordable ” that’s our guiding light,” said Jim Himmes, construction manager. “We believe in giving our families a quality project.”

Eight construction companies have been assigned to build a duplex each. They are involved from the planning to the constructing, volunteering at least eight hours a week of labor.

“I took it to heart, wanted to help, where a builder would sponsor a building,” said Kyle Hoiland, pre-construction manager at RA Nelson. “I thought it would be a good opportunity to provide a helping hand.”

Hoiland, originally from Washington state, moved here 12 years ago to snowboard. He said he wanted to give back to the community.

“This valley has brought me nothing but opportunity and I’ve taken advantage of it,” he said. “I’ve got a family now and am buying my own house. “

One of the duplexes will be completed by the holidays so two families can move in by Christmas. Pedro Lopez, the father of three girls, is originally from Mexico and has worked for 15 years at the Marriott, where he met his wife.

He has been heavily involved in the building of his home. Each adult family member has to work at least 250 hours on their house.

The Lopezes were one of five families chosen from 25 applications. Families are picked based on income, whether they are living in substandard housing and their willingness to do the work Habitat requires.

His family’s new duplex has three bedrooms and new appliances. The building has been built to energy-efficient, green standards, which means the Lopezes’ utility bills should be 40 percent to 70 percent lower. Active Energy donated its green-building expertise.

“Professional builders, staff, families, sub-contractors and volunteers all work together to make it happen” Moon Said.

Dustin Salas, Kara Felzien and Max Marko from Vail’s Sonnenalp Resort all volunteered at Fox Hollow. All Sonnenalp employees have to do at least eight of community service hours a year.

“They’re great volunteers and a lot of fun,” Himmes said. “It’s amazing what they can do.”

Habitat is not only looking for volunteers to build the duplex. It also needs furniture, appliances and building materials donated to its outlet store in Gypsum. Habitat’s goal in Eagle County is to build one home per year at a cost of $125,000 to 150,000 a year.

“In this valley, affordable housing is at the forefront for issues,” Hoiland said. “Habitat is actually doing something, getting families into houses, building homes, allowing people to own their own home.”

Friday’s part starts at 3:45 p.m., and the event is open to the public.

For more information on Habitat for Humanity or its projects, call (970)748-6718.

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