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Let the wild rumpus begin

From an empty street, a community takes shape at the Dallas Build-a-Thon 2012
By Naomi Downs

Being an AmeriCorps from Dallas, I have been on Silkwood Street multiple times over the past three weeks, staging for this week’s Build-a-Thon. But today when I pulled onto the site at 7 a.m., it felt like a different street altogether.

There was this buzz and excitement, and the AmeriCorps members had not even arrived yet. It was as if overnight this quiet street in Bon Ton had been transformed in anticipation for the things to come this week. Then the wild rumpus began as the AmeriCorps members started arriving.

As soon as the members stepped off the bus, there was a new level of excitement that encompassed the street. It was like the energy on Silkwood has been kicked up a notch. Hard hats and tool belts came out, and the mad shuffle of materials from the containers to the sites began. There was no question in my mind that today we were going to “get stuff done.”

Within 20 minutes of the arrival of the AmeriCorps members, walls were slowly being pieced together. By lunchtime, the majority of crews on the frame houses had their walls set, while the crews on the Structured Insulated Panel (SIP) homes struggled slightly to keep the same pace.

By the end of the day, all of the houses were the same hollow shell of a home.

When we started today, there was an empty street waiting to become a community. Blank slabs of concrete were waiting to become homes. The day was full, the work a challenge and the sun beat down on us continuously.

By the end of the day, Silkwood Street had begun the transformation to form a new community –and it’s only day one, y’all.