DECONSTRUCTION OF L.D.S. CHURCH BEGINS BY USING ALL VOLUNTEERS

Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 19:22
Daniel Salmon

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – On June 26th, The ReUse People of America (TRP), in partnership with Salt Lake Valley Habitat for Humanity (HFH), coordinated Utah’s first all-volunteer reclamation of an LDS church in downtown Salt Lake City. Utilizing 50 volunteers from the O.C. Tanner Company, TRP kicked-off this unique deconstruction project by removing and reclaiming useful material from the 1950’s house of worship. The volunteers salvaged thousands of square feet of carpeting, hundreds of linear feet of door trim and baseboards, dozens of lights, plus sinks and toilets. All materials were taken to Habitat for Humanity’s Salt Lake City Restore where they will be sold to bargain hunters. This revenue will help HFH fulfill its mission of building affordable homes for low-income people in the Salt Lake valley. The now vacant church, including the 2-acre parcel it sits on, were donated to the American Cancer Society by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The ACS will ultimately build a Hope Lodge on site that will provide lodging and resources for adult cancer patients coming to the Intermountain West for treatment. The 42-suite facility is the first of its kind west of the Mississippi and will serve nearly 800 patients every year. Built entirely from donations, the project is currently $3.2 million shy of the amount needed to break ground, but interior work on the existing building has begun. In order to build the Hope Lodge, the ACS needed to remove the existing LDS ward house, but wanted to do so responsibly and respectfully. Habitat for Humanity was invited by the ACS to remove all materials they could for resale at their Restore. Since HFH does not deconstruct buildings, they asked The ReUse People of America to provide the deconstruction expertise and resource coordination on this project. Funding for this project comes largely from a generous grant from the George S. & Delores Dore Eccles Foundation. The ACS will also use some of the salvaged wood flooring from the church in the new Hope Lodge library. This is the first of ten such events that will occur throughout the summer. Between June 26th and September 23rd, volunteers from across Utah will remove doors, hardwood flooring, trim, and lumber from the 16,000 square foot church. The ReUse People will serve as project coordinators at each event; ensuring materials are removed safely, efficiently, and intact. TRP’s Regional Manager for Utah, Daniel Salmon, was encouraged by how much work was already accomplished at the first event. “The [O.C. Tanner] volunteers did great. They came in with positive, can-do attitudes, worked like crazy, and had smiles on their faces the whole time.” Future reclamation events will host volunteers from organizations like Wells Fargo, Teleperformance, and other Utah-based companies. Habitat for Humanity also recently partnered with The Reuse People of America to be a deconstruction materials reseller. Habitat’s Restore – just west of Interstate-15 on 1300 south – will receive materials salvaged from TRP deconstruction projects across Salt Lake Valley. This new partnerships ensures materials donated to The ReUse People will stay local and help improve the standard of living for people in Utah. The church reclamation project demonstrates how separate non-profits, with distinct missions, can collaborate successfully to fulfill each one’s values.

OC Tanner Volunteers Getting Ready for A Day of Reclamation  Just 2 of the dozens of lights salvaged from the 1950's church Pulling out baseboards and trim Coming through! Another light fixture being salvaged. 

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