STEVENSVILLE - Building a home in 72 hours, constructed with lumber donated from Montana’s seven mills, the Forests for Humanity Blitz Build kicked off in Stevensville Friday – and launched the third annual Montana Forest Products Week.
The project requires the labor of over 40 local volunteers each day, with support from the Society of American Foresters, Missoula Federal Credit Union, University of Montana’s Carpentry Program, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Ravalli County Habitat for Humanity and more.
The Habitat partner family and future homeowners Lori Call and her daughter Miranda Rivera were at the site - Lori pounding nails and Miranda hobbling along in a cast.
The flurry of construction ceased for a brief ceremony at noon.
Governor Steve Bullock said, “The suggestion at times is somehow that the community is actually helping out Lori and Miranda, but in many ways Lori and Miranda are helping out a community.
“It’s when we all come together – be it the seven mills, be it the high school students and Key Clubs, be it the boards, be it everybody who says we can all work together on something that’s a little bit bigger than any one of us as individuals. So the gift isn’t given to you two, you two are giving this gift to this community – and, indeed, the state.”
Said Department of Natural Resources and Conservation director John Tubbs, “This week brings a focus to the forest products industry in Montana and how important it is for our communities for having those seven operating mills.”
The ceremony also honored Darby Schools’ Rick Scheele and Victor Schools’ Lyle Thompson for their wood energy programs and Dirk Kruger of the Montana Logging Association.
Then the construction resumed.
Ravalli County Habitat for Humanity executive director Mike Kibler said the Blitz Build was proceeding right on schedule.
“It’s going extremely well,” said Kibler, who noted they had plenty of volunteer builders. “It’s a lot of work to put this together to make this happen correctly - its mind boggling. It has taken months of planning. People are dedicated and it’s just a cool thing to see.”
Friday’s goal was for the interior and exterior walls to be up. Saturday work begins at first light, with the trusses up by 9 a.m. By the end of the day, the roof and exterior windows and doors should be completed. By Sunday, they planned to have all the siding done and be completely “dried in.”
The home’s plumbing, wiring, siding and interior finishes will be completed soon after the Blitz Build. The home is located in the Twin Creek Subdivision, east of Middle Burnt Fork Road, Stevensville.
The partner family has invested hundreds of hours of labor both for their home as well as homes for others. Their mortgage payments go into a revolving fund that is used to build more houses.
This will be the seventh home the group has completed since 1998 and one of several planned for Stevensville. They are currently looking for their next partner family.
For information about Habitat for Humanity of Ravalli County visit their website, ravallihabitat.org, or call 406-375-1926.
Reach reporter Michelle McConnaha at 363-3300 or email@example.com.