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Greensburg – Main Street

I apologize for the long wait on the Greensburg episodes. My DVR went belly up, and the replacement was a dud. So, get yourself a cup of coffee or tea, ’cause it’s a long one and here we go….

March, 2009

cityhalljuly92009Steve Hewitt (Greensburg City Administrator), is a little frustrated, with all the construction projects like the hospital and schools in full swing, the Business Incubator should have been completed six months ago. The outside is finishing up construction, but the good thing is the interior is completed and hopefully in the next couple of weeks will come the ok to start moving business’ in..

Main Street is all torn up for building the Street Scape which will make it difficult to get to the Business Incubator even if it was completed. Not to mention the street construction is bad for all retail business’. Steve says you got to go through the bad to get to the good but it seems it is getting worse and worse with the Streetscape construction, like tearing up water lines and trying to pour concrete. But the good thing is they’ll only be in construction mode a couple of months.

s-1_1240414892445The Kids, (Taylor Schmidt, Alexsis Fleener, & Levi Smith), are taking pictures around town. The Historical folks had found some pictures which survived the tornado, pictures of Greensburg from the late 19th century. So the kids thought it would be “kinda neat” to retake those pictures – one century later. Mustering their courage they go to the top of the grain elevator to recapture an old 1917 aerial shot of the town. They can see the whole town and marvel at how much the town has changed since the tornado two years before.

Scott & Susan Reinecke and Scott’s sister from Wichita, Kansas, visit the Business Incubator to see how far the construction has come along to get an estimate on when they can move in their stained glass studio and gallery. While they were checking out their new space J. David Spoon (the building contractor with Compton Construction Corp.), walks in and tells them in about 2 weeks they can start moving in. They worry about the Streetscape construction hindering customer traffic, killing their business before they even move in. As it is the 6 month delay on the Incubator has been tough enough.

At the Allison home, Farrell and Debbie are working on interior of their nearly completed home. Construction started on their home a little over a year ago. Working towards being the greenest home in Greensburg, Farrell has been his own general contractor saying it has been fun, stressful, aggravating, and a real challenge. But with one step at a time you get it done. In the last two months things have come together, they got the dry wall, cabinets, and countertops in. Most of the electrical is done and interior painting has started. His hopes are that in a hundred years someone living in this house will say, “I am so glad that the person that built this house thought about energy efficiency”.

Shane Engelken has always wanted a horse, saying he could have bought a horse with all the money he has spent on win a horse raffle tickets. But this time he finally won that horse. While taking care of his cherished possession, he tells about the time right after the tornado, he thought it would take a long time to rebuild, but things have moved pretty quickly. Nearly every day a friend will tell him their house is almost done. His family is still living in the FEMA trailers due to delays. But his Grandpa’s log cabin is almost done, so he thinks he will move into Grandpa’s basement until the family home is completed.

At the City Hall building site, Jon Ryman (Superintendent, ORR Construction), says the next step will be to finish the roofing, then framing will start on the inside, then the mechanical people can do the roughing in the walls and at the same time get the windows in. The intention was to have the building done by May 1st, he thinks they will be very hard pressed to meet that deadline. He also thinks the Streetscape project has another 6 to 8 months of activity before it’s complete. Because of all the issues like burying water lines on one side of the street that never had any before and a myriad of what seems like minor things like construction of the 40 planters

Steve said the Streetscape and planters are going to be the face of downtown for the next hundred years. So the details like planters, although it seems minute, there are so many of them it is dictating the timeframe of the project.

image_previewSteve says they are wanting to have an open house for the Incubator on the 24th of April, he wants to have one for the Streetscape as well on that weekend. Jon says there is no way that’s going to happen.

Bob Dixson, the mayor of Greensburg, gets a phone call inviting him to come sit with the first lady at President Obama’s first address to Congress. Having no idea the President was going to mention Greensburg in his speech, the mayor was very emotional and honored.

The Reineckes meet with the pastor of the First Baptist Church still under construction. They are working on a stained glass window for the church by incorporating the one unbroken stained glass window salvaged from the ruins of old church.

The Allison’s home is finished enough that they can start living in it and relaxing a little. Although the house is traditional looking, it turned out to be extremely energy efficient . Incorporating alot more green into the house than they originally thought they could. With ICF walls, R-50 insulation in the attic, all appliances are high efficiency, geothermal heating and cooling, solar tubular skylights, and bamboo floors. It already feels like home to them even though they’re not settled in.

Rick and Rhonda Engelken are one of the last few residents of FEMAville, they get a letter saying they have to be out of the FEMA trailer by May 6th, ready or not. They may have to move into her Daddy’s log cabin like Shane. They are not wanting to but their new home has only the ICF basement and foundation done. The top part of the house will be built out of strong SIP (Structured Insulated Panels).

The Reineckes are moving into their space in the Incubator. They are quite thrilled. Even with all the work still going on around them.

John and Lana Janssen check on the construction progress of their home with ICF corners and SIP paneled roof. Plus geothermal heating and cooling. They want to be in their new home by their 40th wedding anniversary in August.

At the Greensburg School building site, Darin Headrick, the Greensburg School Superintendent talks about how grades pre-K through 12th grade will all be located there. They are doing the dirt work to get the grade set so the concrete foundation can be poured. He is excited about the new school being sustainable and technologically advanced.

At the temporary High School they’re having their last basketball pep rally, it’s really special for the seniors. They had to don diapers have a crawl race to baby food and bottles. Very funny.

With help from their son Alex, the Reineckes finish and move the stained glass window to the church and watch it get installed.

In Mullinville, Kansas, ten miles away is where Greensburg H.S. has played all of it’s home games since the tornado. Tonight they play Haviland H.S. in the last basketball game of the season. Taylor, Alexsis, and Shane are seniors. They WIN… more ways than one.

As the green future unfolds….

BTW, there are only 5 days left!

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13 Responses to “Greensburg – Main Street”

  1. spygrrl Says:

    Wow. What an update. Thank you for posting this. The personal stories and pictures are wonderful. You did a great job on this article!!!

  2. Sadie Says:

    Thanks for the update! This is so neat.
    .-= Sadie´s last blog ..So I Bought an iPhone =-.

  3. cady Says:

    Thanks for this post. I find these stories very interesting.
    .-= cady´s last blog ..Show Us Your Life — Wedding Receptions and Honeymoons =-.

  4. Heath Says:

    Great as always. Thanks.

  5. ALS of Nevada Says:

    Thanks for letting us read the latest. I find them very uplifting.

  6. Heath Says:

    I was talking to mom & dad last night about whether or not there would be another season. We all assumed so, but hadn’t heard for sure. The house being built by SunChips for the family that works for Frito Lay hasn’t been worked on much here lately and the rumor is they are waiting on Planet Green to come back and document it. But that is just small town rumor, so who knows if it is true or not.

  7. wilson Says:

    Linda, this is a huge project and it’s going to take some time here. However, I thought that it worth the time and money to build up the new infrastructures, Linda!
    .-= wilson´s last blog ..You Are Supposed Not To Feed Your Baby with Yogurt! =-.

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