Thursday, October 14, 2010

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition features home built with our help

A home in Neenah, Wis., that our crews helped build in mid-August will be featured on ABC-TV’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. Central time.

Located at 770 Elm St. on Neenah’s southeast side, the home is owned by the Rhex Arboleda family.

Our participation started at 10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14. We disconnected the natural gas and electric service to the existing home. We also rebuilt two spans of overhead lines – including a pole replacement – and installed temporary electric service for construction. Our work was done in about six hours.

Our employees returned Tuesday morning, Aug. 17, at 8:30 a.m. to find a new house with the siding and shingles being added. Our work was to install the new electric service. This was a challenge, but our crew stepped up to meet it, according to Bruce Sasman, our area manager in the Fox Valley. Sasman said the construction site was overrun with builders, and we had to install our underground electrical service where many people were working.

Work was complicated by the scant 6 feet between the house under construction and the adjacent dwelling, and a large emergency escape window well for the basement. Our crews also needed to install TV cable, phone cable, streetlight cable and natural gas service – all in the same spot. Our installation work ended about 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning. We removed the temporary electric service Thursday morning.

When the family returned Friday, thousands welcomed them and helped them “move that bus” to reveal their new home.

“The amazing part of this is the cooperation between all of the people on site,” said Sasman. “Every contractor we needed to deal with bent over backward to help us and others. It was a great representation of what people can do when they all have one goal.”

The production company project manager said we were one of the most organized and well-prepared utilities for such projects. “He told us we were definitely at the top of the industry,” said Sasman. “I’m extremely proud of our employees. It was gratifying to be a part of this amazing project.”

Tune in Sunday to see the results.

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