“These people didn’t just build a house; they built a dream,” said JoAnn Eckles who came to see the ribbon cutting ceremony for the completion of Phase I of the Color Country Homes in Sunrise Meadows.
Almost one year ago, five families broke ground on a piece of property that would become their brand new home. Thursday afternoon, administrators of the self-help Color Country program made it official and handed over the keys to the new homes and told the excited sweat equity builders, they could now move in. The homes were theirs.
During the ceremony, each family had a chance to say a few words and Nicole Eskelsen tried to express her joy and thanks but was overcome by tears. She wasn’t the only one to wipe tears from her eyes.
“We are very happy to welcome these new homeowners to our community,” said Mayor Pro Tem Geno Withelder. “Home ownership is something to be proud of and we are proud of all of you.” Withelder congratulated the participants along with City Manager Andy Barton and Councilman Kraig Hafen.
Well known residents Charlie and Tatiana Sellner who had completed a home gave out some gag gifts to their new neighbors and said, “This was an incredible experience, absolutely incredible. We have some wonderful neighbors.” They gave each of their neighbors a plaque, each with a picture of their new homes that the Sellners made at their store, City Shoppes.
Each of the new three bedroom, two bath homes came complete with paint, carpeting, landscaping and appliances. Each family was able to design their own home to the specifications they wanted within the budget that they had agreed to.
Jody and Cody Thornley worked closely with Jim Hunt, construction supervisor, to build a house suitable for their four children, two of which are handicapped. “The kitchen is extra wide so it will accommodate a wheelchair and my daughter won’t bump into things when she gets into the refrigerator.” The bathroom also had a specially built bath that was designed to accommodate a disabled person. The home has wide doorways and is fully handicapped accessible.
Officials of Color Country told the home owners that they didn’t build a house, they built a community. “Now you are part of the Color Country family,” said one official.
“Not everyone can do what they did because not everyone is willing to do all the work it takes,” said Paul Jensen, a friend of one of the families. “It is a huge undertaking to build a house, I’m impressed.”
With Phase I completed, Color Country has already selected six new applicants for Phase II. The pre-construction phase has already begun.
As the ceremony began to wind down, plans were being made to start moving in.
See Mesquite Citizen Journal story Groundbreaking Ceremony Marks Beginning of New Homes