Baxter Homes Relocated To Make Room For Cypress Drive Expansion
Baxter is undergoing some major construction this summer, and one road that is expanding is Cypress Drive. Baxter had to acquire five homes on Cypress Drive twenty years ago to fulfill the project.
“After looking at the structures, they were structurally sound, and we had to save them,” Baxter City Administrator Brad Chapulis said.
Brad Chapulis did not want to take the easy way out and destroy the homes that were in the way of the city’s expansion of Cypress Drive. Last year, they collaborated with Habitat for Humanity to design a plan to move and re-purpose the homes.
“We had a professional moving crew come in, we stripped it, prepared it for that service to come in to be able to punch their beams in, lift it up, slide it over, and then move it and set it back down on new foundation,” Kevin Pelkey, Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity Executive Director, said. “There have been literally a lot of moving parts on this project.”
This summer, the five homes have been moved with two of them being relocated to Birch Drive, about 800 feet away from Cypress Drive. It’s a process that Habitat for Humanity is familiar with.
“This was our traditional method of our program when we started in 1990,” Pelkey said. “It’s a far more challenging project, and in some ways, a slower project.”
But with several people volunteering daily, Habitat for Humanity is up for the challenge. They’re moving the homes with some homeowners already in place to move in.
“It’s overwhelming to watch because people are coming in while we are at work, and I’m not able to see it,” future homeowner Renee Hintz said. “There’s young teens to my dad, who’s 76, so it’s crazy.”
The goal is to have the houses up and fully functional by the end of the year.
“This is what we envisioned when we approached habitat,” Chapulis said. “To have these five homes […] that were in quality of nature, and putting them back into use as affordable housing for people who are worthy and in need of having a home.”
But the work is not done yet…
“We are going to be in need of volunteers,” Pelkey said. “There’s no lack of work that we will have between now and the time that these two homes are completed.”
For more information on the Cypress Drive project visit, http://www.sehinc.com/cypress. If you would like to volunteer with re-purposing the homes, contact Habitat for Humanity at (218) 828-8517.