Family handed over keys to new home |

Family handed over keys to new home

Christine Metz

— Standing on the front steps of Steamboat Springs’ first Habitat for Humanity home, new owner Beverly Marchman read a story to the volunteers and board members who stood before her.

The story was about a king and a road he had built. And of a single man who had cleared stones away from that road and received a bag of gold for his efforts.

“For he who travels the road, blessed is he who makes it smoother for those that follow,” she read.

“Like this story, you have paved the road for so many, ” Marchman said as she thanked the 40 volunteers who had gathered outside the bright blue home at 1560 Conestoga Circle Wednesday afternoon.

Beverly, her husband, Neil, and their four children were given the keys to that home during the dedication ceremony, which was the culmination of a four-month project worked on by more than 300 volunteers to build a 1,110-square foot house for the Marchmans.

The Marchmans also handed over their first mortgage payment on the no-interest loan that will pay for the house and the land.

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“It’s been wonderful to see the people work together,” Neil Marchman said.

“After we move, when there are no more boxes, then we’ll realize it happen,” Marchman said.

Leaving their shoes at the front door, volunteers wandered through the newly carpeted house, while others took advantage of the afternoon sun as they stood outside eating cookies. Some volunteers were able to get their first view of the finished project they had helped build.

Deborah Martin, who had put in more than 15 hours helping with drywalling and setting in high beams, was happy with the end result.

“It was just a bare skeleton when I first saw it,” Martin said. “It is definitely great to see.”

Among the volunteers that were floating around the house were Scott MacDonald and Mike Brennan, the construction foremen of the Habitat project. Both men spent their summer weekends and countless hours overseeing the building of the house.

“We were saying the other day,” Brennan said, “it might not be the most professional job, but there is not a house in Routt County with more love.”

During his introductory comments, Larry Oman, Habitat for Humanity board president, said the house dedicated Wednesday was the beginning of Habitat’s efforts to aide affordable housing in Steamboat.

“There are other families who live and work among us who could really benefit from being homeowners. I want to find ways to make that happen,” Oman said. “We hope together we can find ways to make more affordable housing available.”

The Marchmans are scheduled to move into the three-bedroom, two-bathroom house by Oct. 1. But before that can happen, the house needs a certificate of occupancy, which means all electrical work has to be inspected.

Singing to the tune of “This Land Is Your Land,” Neil Marchman, a music teacher at Strawberry Park Elementary School, told the volunteers that they were welcome to visit the house, but please call first.

“This house was built by you and me,” he sang as he ended the song.

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