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Habitat house gets helping hand

ROUSES POINT - Champlain Valley Habitat for Humanity is making progress building its most recent North Country home.

Keith R. Matott, facilities and project manager, said the project is nearly halfway completed thanks to community support.

The home, in construction on Beverly Drive for Laura and Christopher Welch, has been starting to take shape since the foundation was poured last fall, said Matott.

"We're well under way," said Matott. "We had the house framed up over the winter and had the roof installed for free [by J & B Roofing]."

Solid Foundations, a building trades program at Clinton Community College, completed the initial electrical wiring and plumbing installation work, said Matott. Other work has been performed by the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority and Zeta Beta Tau fraternity chapters at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, including the installation of insulation and other electrical work.

"We've found something for everyone to do who wants to volunteer," said Matott, "and everyone's been a lot of fun to work with. It's especially a great experience for these kids from the city who may have never done this kind of work before."

Recently, the United Way of the Adirondack Region also hosted a "Day of Caring," where volunteers from AES Northeast, a local engineering firm based in Plattsburgh, helped with additional interior work, said Matott.

"They did a tremendous job," said Matott.

The Welch family, who could not be reached for comment before this article went to press, has been chipping in more than their fair share of the "sweat equity" required by families for whom Habitat houses are built.

"It's helped that one of their relatives has a background in construction," said Matott.

The next step in the development of the house will be to finish construction of a deck and installing exterior siding.

"I really think it's coming along nicely," said Matott, who added he expects the project to be completed by this fall.

Champlain Valley Habitat for Humanity is always looking for more volunteers, said Matott. Those interested in lending a hand may contact the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity International at 564-4663 or visit www.cvhfh.com. Donations toward local Habitat for Humanity projects may also be sent by mail to P.O. Box 55, Peru N.Y. 12972.

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