By Charmain Z. Brackett
Renovations at the Fisher House are expected to begin at the end of November, and officials say the work is much needed.
“Everything has been here since April 3, 1993,” said house manager Francisco Cruz Jr., about the home’s inner décor which includes the furnishings, wall coverings, light fixtures and paint.
The renovations will cause the Fisher House to be closed from mid-November until some time in February 2011.
The scope of the work to be completed at the Fisher House is more than five pages long and includes an array of items such as installing new carpet in the living room, installing new fixtures and appliances in the kitchen and caulking and painting throughout.
Other updates will bring the house into more accessibility for those who are in wheelchairs. The cook top and sinks will be adjusted to accommodate that population.
Also, it will be upgraded to be more energy efficient. A new climate control system and fire alarm system will be installed as well.
“We’re giving it a nice facelift,” said Daryle Meddings, facility manager for DDEAMC.
Even the furnishings will be replaced throughout. Cruz said little is staying except for the dining room pieces. The furniture will be donated to the Fort Gordon Thrift Shop because it’s an organization that serves Soldiers and their families and gives back to them.
David Nacci, the owner of Nacci Construction Services and a disabled veteran, is the contractor who will perform the necessary work.
Nacci said the contract stipulates the work to be completed within 45 business days.
“We expect it to be completed by the first part of February. Things should go pretty smoothly,” said Nacci, who has also performed work on the Fisher House under construction at the Charlie Norwood Medical Center.
Cruz said the work could have been done in smaller segments over a longer period of time, but he didn’t want the renovations completed that way.
“I wanted to close down the house and have it done all at one time so the family members would not be impeded,” he said.
The families who will be displaced during the move will stay at Value Place off Gordon Highway near Bobby Jones Expressway.
Cruz said the Fisher House Foundation will pay the bill to allow the families to stay there during that time.
Zachary Fisher started the Fisher House Foundation and built the first Fisher House 20 years ago. Cruz said the house at Fort Gordon was paid for by the Fisher family and completed on April 3, 1993; now the Fisher Houses are built with a partnership of public and private funds.
Cruz said the house relies heavily on donations including funds through the Combined Federal Campaign.
“A lot of people think we get tax money,” he said. “We don’t.”
The holiday season is one during which people want to give back to the Fisher House and the families staying there. Donations will still be accepted during the renovation period. For more information, call 787-7100.
"Holidays, birthdays & anniversaries have been celebrated with tears and smiles with people who truly understand what the other person is experiencing."
- Kamryn Jaroszewski