LAKE TWP.  A team of volunteers from the deconstruction team at Habitat for Humanity East Central Ohio recently worked with Lake Local Schools and the Lake Local Schools Board of Education on removing usable materials from a house on property the district owns. The deconstruction team removed items such as cabinets, doors, windows and trim from the house which was later demolished.

The materials removed will be sold in the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Ron Woodward, a ReStore Community Liaison, said the deconstruction group doesn’t tear down buildings, it only removes reusable items.

"We don’t do any demolition or anything that effects the structure of a building, we only remove items we can recycle, sell for scrap prices or sell at ReStore," Woodward said. "The items get sold to the general public at a fraction of what it would cost and then that money goes back to Habitat to build affordable homes for those in need."

Kevin Miller, director of marketing and communications with Habitat, said the deconstruction group from Habitat for Humanity East Central Ohio has been working together on projects for the past five years.

"By partnering with Habitat, the Lake Local School Board has helped keep reusable materials out of the landfills and they are helping low income families build and renovate their own homes with Habitat," Miller said.

In a published statement, Lake Local School Board Vice President Jennifer Anderson said, "We are so grateful for this opportunity to partner with Habitat for Humanity. Any chance we get to work with a local organization that serves others like Habitat, helps us live out Lake’s mission and values of serving our community. This project is really a win all around."

Lake Local’s Business Manager Jeff Breit said the district hasn’t decided what to do with the land. For now, the house has been demolished and the hole will be filled and the area graded.

"We’ve talked about using it for parking but for now it will just be graded for future use," Breit said. "The land was available and its close proximity to the middle and high schools and sports complex made it a good purchase. Because we want to make sure that nothing goes to waste, we partnered with Habitat to remove anything useable from the house before it was torn down."

The deconstruction program at Habitat is a good solution for realtors, local construction companies, businesses and homeowners who are renovating their home or building. It can also be a help to local municipalities. The deconstruction crew also removes copper and steel to sell for scrap. Miller said Habitat 182 tons of metal in 2017.

"The crews stay until the job is done but projects usually take only a few hours to complete. Our volunteers are quick, efficient and they clean up after their work," Miller said.

Breit said there has been some discussion about having the deconstruction volunteers return to Lake Local Schools to help with emptying out the Lake Elementary School after the district auctions off items inside the building.

"We will first try to sell everything we can out of the building and if there is something left over that others can use, we’ll talk with Habitat about returning," Breit said.

Habitat completes deconstruction projects throughout Ohio. Miller said the volunteers include people who know how to remove the items without damaging them or other items.

Habitat is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, it was founded in 1988. The organization built its 500th home last year and has helped 2,200 individuals have new, affordable housing.

"He we are 30 years later, and we couldn’t have done it without the financial support and volunteering of time from our many supporters. We are filled with gratitude for the people who make it happen for our families in need," Miller said.