Sheâ€™s been living with her parents in west Oak Ridge, but child care worker Carly Gilbert will soon have a home of her own.
The 25-year-old expects to move into a home on Robertsville Road within about a week. She has a 30-year-mortgage on the home, built with the help of Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties and volunteers from UT-Battelle, which manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
â€œIâ€™m a little overwhelmed but very happy,â€ said Gilbert, a teacher for Anderson County Early Head Start in Oliver Springs. â€œIâ€™ve never owned a home.â€
Local officials and volunteers celebrated the construction of the Energy Star-certified, 1,000-square-foot home during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday.
Work on Gilbert’s home began in May, and 78 ORNL volunteers spent more than 950 hours over five Saturdays building the framing, floors, and walls, a press release said. Volunteers finished landscaping Aug. 18.
The press release said Team UT-Battelle, ORNLâ€™s community service organization, also raised money to furnish a nursery for Gilbert, who is an expectant mother, providing a crib, changing table, dresser, and a glider rocker.
“The house build was a great way for us to show ADFAC our support of its mission,” ORNL Director Thom Mason said.
The release said other funding for Gilbert’s house was provided by a grant through the Tennessee Housing Development Agency and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The land was provided by the city of Oak Ridge, and construction support was provided by Chris Lane Construction.
Cindy Ross, director of the ADFAC Affordable Housing Program, said the work of UT-Battelle volunteers saved about $50,000 and reduced the cost of Gilbertâ€™s home.
ADFAC Development Director Jamie Olson said Gilbertâ€™s single-story house was ADFACâ€™s first volunteer-built home in about two decades. The organization wanted to do something special to celebrate its 25th anniversary this year, Olson said.
The release said UT-Battelle contributed $10,000 toward ADFAC’s anniversary earlier this year. An anniversary celebration is scheduled from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at First Presbyterian Church in Oak Ridge.
ADFAC serves the basic needs of primarily low-income residents in Anderson and surrounding Appalachian counties. Its goal is to help families become stable and self-sufficient through a variety of direct assistance services provided by its social services and affordable housing programs.
Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan said the Robertsville Road site where Gilbert will live was in disrepair four to five years ago.
â€œYou will see more of thisâ€ in the next few years, Beehan said of the property redevelopment.
The ORNL release said Gilbert’s house is one of six that ADFAC plans to build in 2012.