Springfield News-Leader: Builders to team up for an ‘Extreme Makeover’

July 1, 2009
Builders to team up for an ‘Extreme Makeover
Charity improvement project for ABC show to commence July 14.
Cliff Sain
Some lucky family is about to get a big surprise.
Springfield builders announced Tuesday that they will rebuild the home of a Springfield-area family for an episode of the TV show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
The home will be built in six days starting July 14. The show is scheduled to air in September.
The announcement was made by Millstone Custom Homes owner Sam Clifton, who is organizing the project. “The idea of doing this in our community is a neat task,” Clifton said. “I wasn’t sure how the community would respond.”
That’s because the network, ABC, provides no funding. The home has to be funded entirely from sponsors and donated labor and materials.
Prior to meeting with show producers the first time, he’d already secured 70 percent of the needed materials . “The other 30 percent, I just hadn’t had a chance to ask yet,” he said.
Matt Morrow, executive officer of the Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield, agreed that builders might be making a bigger sacrifice than usual. “As far as the economy, it couldn’t be a more difficult time right now to take on a project like this,” he said. “That speaks to the character of the people involved.”
Charlie Meek, general manager of builders’ supply store Meek’s, said they were eager to participate because of experience with the show four years ago. “Our experience with Camp Barnabas was outstanding,” Meek said.
He also said it would be good for Springfield.
“It’s a great opportunity. It’s a great time to showcase Springfield,” he said.
The builders will focus on making the house green- friendly. No new materials will go to waste, and the builders will recycle everything they can that is removed from the home.
Clifton said he planned to use a type of insulation that would save the family on utility costs.
The family is a closely guarded secret. Burnell said five families — all with children — have been selected as finalists, and even the winning family will not know until the day the crews come by to begin work.
This year’s show theme is “heroes.”
“In some way, the family have been heroes in the community,” she said.
Burnell said all five families live within 30 miles of Springfield. ABC informed her that the four families not chosen will be “adequately compensated” but did not go into any more detail.
The builders have to complete a project in six days that normally takes months. “Each day, we’ll do a month’s work,” Clifton said.
He said that, because there will be so many workers on site, safety will always be a priority. And he acknowledged that luck could play a part in getting done in time.
“We obviously hope and pray for no rain,” Clifton said.
Additional Facts
How to volunteer
The project will need hundreds of volunteers to do everything from labor to providing water for workers. For more information about volunteering as an individual, company or organization, visit www.millstoneextremedream.com.
Volunteers or those wishing to volunteer can also attend a volunteer rally at 4 p.m. July 8 at Remington’s at Kansas Expressway and James River Freeway.