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September 28, 2011

'Extreme Makeover' comes back to Md.



An Eastern Shore family learned today that their sagging house will be demolished and replaced, courtesy of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" -- which last year built a mansion for the girls of Boys Hope Girls Hope in Baltimore.

The Johnson-Goslee family of tiny Mardela Springs, in Wicomico County, got a knock on the door at noon. Their story is compelling: Wyzhir Johnson-Goslee, 16, lost his left hand last Christmas Eve while working with his grandfather to repair the 80-year-old house, which wasn't built with a dug-out foundation and has developed structural problems. On top of that, there are no working showers or bathtubs.

Now thousands of volunteers are ready to give the family a new home -- one that's "eco-friendly" and solar powered.

The Fusion Cos., an Annapolis modular-home builder, is leading the project. Wes Sims, who owns the company with brother Josh, said the door-knock "was, aside from the birth of my daughter, probably the coolest thing I'd ever seen."

"Everyone was overwhelmed," he said.

The neighborhood is tightly knit, so the project will include improvement work on at least seven other homes, Sims said. "It's basically going to be an entire community facelift."

Demolition on the Johnson-Goslee house will begin tonight.

Deadline to finish and "move that bus" to show off the results: Tuesday. But the construction schedule calls for finishing by Monday to give the design team time to make the interior spiffy. That gives workers a maximum of 106 hours to build, Sims said. Why yes, he's counting. Construction will go round-the-clock.

Fusion volunteered during an Extreme Makeover build in Virginia Beach during the last season, and Sims said that sold him on the idea.

Everything about it is fast. It was just over a month ago that show organizers asked his company to be the lead builder. The architect, Jeff Halpern of Halpern Architects, had a single day to work on the design. Hundreds of skilled-trades workers are on board to help -- and thousands of general volunteers, rallied to the cause by Salisbury University -- but Sims said they could still use more people with building experience, particularly carpenters.

Here's how to volunteer.

(Photo above is courtesy of Chic Communications.)

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 4:16 PM | | Comments (0)

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About Jamie Smith Hopkins
Jamie Smith Hopkins, a Baltimore Sun reporter since 1999, writes about the regional economy. Her reporting on the housing market has won national and local awards. Hopkins is a Columbia native and has lived in Maryland all her life, save for 10 months spent covering schools in Ames, Iowa.
She trained to become a wonk by spending large chunks of time as a geek and an insufferable know-it-all.
Baltimore Sun articles by Jamie

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