Volunteers to Renovate 25 Houses in One Day
SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield affiliate of Rebuilding Together has announced that a unique ‘cluster rebuild’ of 25 homes, all on contiguous streets in the Old Hill neighborhood of Springfield, will take place April 27, which is the organization’s National Rebuilding Day. The homes will be renovated with an eye on improved health and energy efficiency. About 1,000 volunteers will pour onto Tyler and Quincy streets to assist in the renovations, which will include a conversion from oil heat to natural gas, with street hookups included as an in-kind donation by Columbia Gas, as well as new and proper insulation of all homes and apartments. Other work to be undertaken includes new roofs, energy-efficient windows and doors, proper ventilation, painting, age-in-place modifications, electrical and plumbing repairs, CO2 and smoke detectors, deadbolt locks, vinyl siding and ramps, and outdoor work including yard cleanup, fencing, landscaping, and shrub and flower planting. Improvements will also be made to the neighborhood as a whole, including the fixup of a neighborhood playground, the creation of a community garden for growing fresh fruit and vegetables, improvements to the Old Hill Neighborhood Council office at Eastern Avenue and Quincy Street, and improvements to the Masonic Lodge on Tyler Street. TD Bank will sponsor a cookout on Tyler Street at the end of the day. Many of the families benefiting from the renovations have seen their share of hardship; one of the residences is Oscar and Carol Granado’s home at 163 Tyler St., where they have lived for 32 years and raised a family. Carol was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, and Oscar is still working at age 72 to pay for health insurance to cover her medical costs. Donors and event sponsors are pitching in to get the Granados a new roof; electrical, carpentry, and plumbing repairs; mold removal; and an exterior facelift. “It’s great to see everybody happy,” Carol said of the neighborhood excitement surrounding the cluster rebuild. “Everyone is having things done that they can’t afford to get done, or can’t do themselves. We will never forget this day.” Rebuilding Together Springfield is in its 21st year of existence and completed the rebuilding of 71 homes in Springfield in the past year, with help from some 5,000 volunteers.