Fiji, HABG team up for home makeover

Casey County freshman Taylor Leigh removes wiring from a house as part of a volunteer effort organized through the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and Independence Bank of Bowling Green. (Josh Newell/HERALD)

Leah Brown

An extreme home makeover is taking place in a Bowling Green residence.

Based on the nationally televised show “Extreme Home Makeover,” the Housing Authority of Bowling Green (HABG) began a project on March 21 to completely tear down a house on 255 Ragland St. in order to rebuild it for a family in need.

HABG is collaborating with existing volunteers and businesses along with their new partners, Phi Gamma Delta fraternity (Fiji), Independence Bank and Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College to complete the project. 

Fiji Somerset sophomore Taylor Bowling and Fiji president Kyle Stewart are in charge of the project within the fraternity.

Fiji got involved with the HABG through the Bowling Green Independence Bank CEO, Robert Fitch.

Bowling said Fitch came to the Fiji house to work on their utilities, got to know the fraternity and asked it to partner with HABG.

“This is the community connection we’ve been waiting on,” Bowling said. “We’ve been looking for a partnership with someone in the community.”

The HABG’s Richard Rekerd said they will be tearing everything out of the old house and building it all new. The home will go to a family who would not otherwise be able to purchase a home.

This is the HABG’s third home makeover.

After the first day of work, Rekerd said that Fiji succeeded his expectations.

The fraternity brothers, along with other volunteers, tore down drywall, took out air conditioning units and ceilings, and cleaned up the backyard and landscape. Now they are framing the house and putting up drywall.

“Service is definitely one of our passions,” Bowling said.

Because so many people came to help with the project, they completed two days of work in one.

“I think it’s awesome that we can start a project and actually see it through to the end instead of just being some part of the process,” Louisville junior Zack Van Zant said. “We get to see it from start to finish.”

The project is expected to be completed in a month and a half.

“We’re all thankful for the homes that we have and we don’t want to take that for granted,” Bowling said. “We just want to give back to the community what we’ve been given and make a home possible for someone else.”