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Wichita family offers hints about 'Extreme' home

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, April 9, 2011, at 12:07 a.m.
  • Updated Friday, March 30, 2012, at 4:31 p.m.

Carl Hall and his family on Friday afternoon met with the media for the first time since the ABC show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" pulled its signature bus out of town in late February, leaving them with a new dream home and a new reality.

Hall, a former Shocker baseball star who was paralyzed in a car accident last summer, spoke from the driveway of his new home, a blue ranch on a corner lot at 11026 W. Hollywood Court in Schulte.

He emerged from the house along with his wife, Stacey, and their four children to express thanks, answer questions and talk about life since the cameras left town.

"I could probably spend a week on the phone trying to thank people," Carl Hall said with a laugh.

He joked and laughed throughout the question-and-answer session, saying that if he goes missing in his much-larger new home, his family knows he's probably stuck in the elevator, which he's still trying to learn how to operate, along with several high-tech light switches.

"If there's any technology out there, it's in this house," he said. "We still haven't figured all of it out yet."

Carl Hall told gathered reporters that he was prohibited by ABC from saying too much about the interior of the new house until after the show airs on April 17. But his son, Logan, clearly was not as well-versed in the art of reality show confidentiality.

After his sister Maddie said that one of her favorite parts of the house was a surprise room that couldn't be discussed until after the show aired, Logan was asked to describe his favorite part of the house.

"My room," he said. "And the gym."

"You mean the surprise room?" his father corrected with a laugh.

"Sure," Logan said.

Other details that emerged about the house: Its setup and technology have made it so that it takes only one person to help Hall in and out of bed rather than three. And although the oldest daughter, Megan, and youngest son, Logan, have their own rooms, middle sisters Maddie, 14, and McLaine, 9, are sharing.

The beginning of the conference included public offerings of even more gifts for the Hall family, who described the entire filming process as surreal and stressful at times.

A Wichita State University official confirmed that all four Hall children will be offered full-ride scholarships to the school. A representative from Cargill talked about the refrigerator full of beef they'd left in the Hall home.

Chester's Chophouse offered the family a skiing or white-water rafting vacation designed for people with disabilities as well as a multi-course meal cooked in the house by Chester's chef, Bobby Lane.

And Mel Hambelton Ford announced that it had raised $50,000 for the Hall family at a party and concert during the build. The dealership matched the amount and gave the family a check for more than $100,000.

"We're going to use everything that everyone has blessed us with," an emotional Stacey Hall said at the end of the news conference. "We'll make you guys proud."

The show is set to air at 7 p.m. April 17 on KAKE, Channel 10. A locally produced, behind-the-scenes show about the build will air before the episode, at 6 p.m.

The Hall family plans to watch the show with builder Bob Cook and friends and family.

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