Rockford And Standale Hammering For Housing

May 14, 2002
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GRAND RAPIDS — At least several hundred licensed contractors, material suppliers and skilled tradesmen are expected to take part in Hammer for Housing, a home-building project being done for the Inner City Christian Federation (ICCF).

The goal is to finish a 2,900-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bath house at 7370 Cascade Woods Drive in time for the Fall Parade of Homes, which is sponsored by the Home and Building Association of Greater Grand Rapids.

The house, complete with a two-car garage and finished lower level, will then be put on the market and sold. The estimated value of the home has been set at $320,000, and all the money from the sale will be given to ICCF.

"The project is very significant for ICCF. The proceeds will enable ICCF to build six affordable homes for low-income families," said Jonathan Bradford, ICCF executive director.

Bradford said the houses that ICCF builds will be sold through the organization's lease-purchase program, and the proceeds from those sales will finance the construction of more homes.

"This way, the money keeps building homes," said Bradford.

The charitable effort is being led by Rockford Construction Co. of Belmont and Standale Lumber and Supply Co. of Walker, which is celebrating its 50th year in business.

"We wanted to make this year especially meaningful," said Clutch Holtvluwer, president of Standale Lumber. Being a significant partner in Hammer for Housing makes it easy to help and will make a concrete difference in the lives of others.

"We share many of ICCF's values and believe in family responsibility and independence, safe neighborhoods and vital communities," added Holtvluwer.

Standale Lumber is donating materials and time to the project, which is being managed by Rockford Construction.

"Whenever I talk to people about getting involved in the community, they express an interest, but don't know how to fit it in their lives. Hammer for Housing makes it easy to help and will make a concrete difference in the lives of others," said Michael Van Gessel, president of Rockford Construction and an ICCF board member.

Brian Bosgraff of Cottage Home Inc. of Holland designed the ranch-style house.

Standale Lumber was formed in 1952 by Ken Holtvluwer, Clutch's father, and John Koppenol. The company serves the construction and furniture industries with interior and exterior wood products, floor, wall and window coverings, cabinets, design services and other items. Standale has a contractors division, a builders showroom, an interior division, and a home center. The firm is headquartered at 4046 Lake Michigan Drive NW in Walker.

Rockford Construction is a division of Rockford Companies and was established in 1987 by Van Gessel and company CEO John Wheeler. Last year, Engineering News-Record listed Rockford at No. 294 on its honor roll of the nation's Top 400 Contractors, the third straight year the firm made the list. The national publication also placed Rockford at No. 20 in its ranking of the Top 25 Retail Contractors.

Rockford Construction also led the Hammer Out Hunger project last year, as it directed a home-building effort that raised nearly $200,000 for God's Kitchen, a food pantry at 303 S. Division. The Better Business Bureau of West Michigan saluted Rockford with its Best in Community Service award last October. Rockford is at 8165 Graphic Drive in Belmont.

A small group of volunteers founded ICCF in 1974. Since then ICCF has built or renovated 236 single-family homes in Grand Rapids. The organization builds about 17 houses each year and serves 750 families annually through its Family Haven emergency shelter, rental-housing program, and home ownership services.

Those interested in contributing to Hammer for Housing should contact ICCF Director of Development Ina Burmeister at 831-1205, Ext. 117.

The Hammer for Housing house is situated on the corner of Cascade Woods Drive and Burrwick Drive. 

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