The single-family home at Eighth and Blaine streets will be dedicated Sept. 28

For its latest home-building project, Newberg Area Habitat for Humanity has tried something a little different.

The charitable organization regularly builds multiple-family duplexes, but for its property at the corner of Eighth and Blaine streets, it has opted to construct a single-story structure for the first time since 1995, the year Habitat opened in Newberg.

The project is nearing completion and will be dedicated with a special event Sept. 28.Photo Credit: GARY ALLEN - Wrapping it up - Crews work primarily on Thursday and Saturdays to construct Newberg Habitat for Humanity's projects throughout the city.

“The house has come out quite beautiful,” executive director Rick Rogers said. “The impetus for this was more livability for the homeowners, it’s easier to access as a single story, and buildability, it’s significantly easier to build single family, single lot, specifically if you don’t have a duplex with a fire wall in between. Also, we consider it safer for our volunteers.”

The house will be the second Habitat completes this year after dedicating a home on Ninth Street in February.

Habitat purchased the property, which will eventually be partitioned into two approximately 3,000 square-foot parcels so that a second house can be constructed, from Leonard Schorzman and tore down the existing structure before the project on Ninth Street was completed.

“He sold it to us for a substantial discount, which was fantastic,” Rogers said. “It was a single lot with a house that was in need of a lot of pretty detailed repairs, so it wasn’t worth us saving. So we took it down and are in the process of partitioning it into two lots.”

Although a couple of hot weeks this summer made it tough on the building crew, Rogers said the weather has been pretty cooperative for this build and that the volunteer effort has been fantastic.

“We have a great, very consistent crew on Thursdays with a lot of regulars that come out and build,” he said. “Generally, groups from churches, businesses, civic groups and that sort of thing come on Saturdays. We’ve been booked. We’ve had no problem finding volunteers at all.”

Work should begin soon on Habitat’s next project, which is located at the former site of the Newberg Animal Shelter on Blaine Street, adjacent to the dog park at Ewing Young Park. That lot will eventually be partitioned so that three homes can be built. Once the first is completed, Rogers said the next project will be to build the second home on the property at 8th and Blaine streets.

That would leave the remaining two lots at the animal shelter location as the as the only ones remaining in Habitat’s inventory. The organization is always searching for new property, but Rogers added that it is also looking for a new home for its ReStore, currently located on Main Street.

“We have just under two years left on our current lease,” Rogers said. “I think Lonnie Parrish is thinking of doing something different with that building.”

Rogers said the ReStore would need to lease or purchase a building between 8,000 and 10,000 square feet, but could also purchase land (about three-quarters of an acre) and build one itself.

“That is a possibility if we can round up the support and funding,” Rogers said. “If we can, we’d rather build and own than lease, but we’ll look at any options at this point.”