Superfast build under way on 'Extreme' homeBY DENISE NEIL
The Wichita Eagle
The build site for "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" was pretty easy to spot on Friday.
From Maize Road and K-42, the curious just had to drive toward a concrete pourer towering three stories in the sky. Or follow a parade of work trucks, Bobcats and construction vehicles driving toward the neighborhood overrun with tents, blue T-shirts and white hard hats.
The ABC show and its stars, including host Ty Pennington, are back in the Wichita area this week building a dream home in 106 hours for former Shocker baseball star Carl Hall, who was paralyzed from the neck down after a car accident in Kingman County in June.
The show's producers, who have been in Wichita for weeks working out the details for the superfast build, revealed on Thursday that Hall and his family had been chosen to receive the house, built with volunteer labor and donated materials.
The Hall family is scheduled to leave today for a vacation in Orlando, Fla., while the build is under way. They're scheduled to get the keys to the new home from Pennington as part of the show's signature "move that bus" segment, scheduled for filming next Thursday.
Skilled and unskilled laborers, who are working around the clock to get the house done, hadn't made much visible progress by early Friday afternoon on the corner lot at 11026 W. Hollywood Court.
The treeless neighborhood, dotted with smallish homes on large lots, was blocked off to all but existing residents, volunteers (recognizable by their blue T-shirts and white hard hats) and show producers and staff.
Neighbors, many of whom could be seen peeking out windows or watching from back doors, were offered the opportunity to stay at a hotel during the build. But all declined, said a show producer.
On Friday, piles of dirt and sand and stacked-up lumber and roof trusses were scattered around the perimeter of the only visible parts of the in-progress house — still-wet cement foundation walls.
Builder Bob Cook of Derby's Bob Cook Homes, who is overseeing the project, said that by Sunday, the shape of the house will be visible, complete with upstairs walls.
They'd already finished the underground plumbing, Cook said, and had plans to start stacking foam block for the upstairs about midnight on Friday.
Today, framers are scheduled to start putting up the outside panels about 11 a.m. and put the roof trusses in place between 2 and 3 p.m.
The heating and air people will get to work on Sunday, and interior Sheetrock should start going up on the walls by late Sunday evening.
Cook, who said he'd never spoken in public before signing up to oversee the project, said he's heard people speculate that a home built so quickly would surely lack in quality.
That's not true, he said.
"We've got so many people here, and the equipment — the amount of equipment they've got here is just amazing," he said. "Things are probably getting done here way better than the average house, just because of the quality of the materials they're putting into this house and the manpower."
Those who want to watch the work in progress are asked to park at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church and School at 11000-11010 Southwest Boulevard, from which they'll be shuttled to a fenced-off spectators area with a good view of the build site.
But be warned: Pennington was scheduled to leave today to film a house being revealed in Tennessee and likely won't return until Thursday.
Famous members of the show's design team, however, were scheduled to arrive today and stay throughout the build. The designers working on the Hall house are Paige Hemmis, Jillian Harris and Paul DiMeo.
The show still needs volunteers, supplies and monetary donations to finish the build. Those who want to help must register through the website www.bobcookhomes.com. Volunteers will not be accepted on the job site.
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