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1/30/2014 12:54:00 PM
Habitat to start on first home in Sedona

A Sedona teacher will soon have a brand new home in the city where she works, thanks to Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity.

Sedona Mayor Rob Adams will dig the first shovelful of dirt during groundbreaking ceremonies Friday, Feb. 7, at 11:30 a.m. at 55 Grounds Drive in West Sedona. Tania Simms, Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity's new president will also be in attendance.

"This is a major milestone for us - our first home in Sedona," Gayle Durkin, executive director of Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity said. "It also gives us the opportunity to introduce our new president. Tania lives in Cottonwood and has been with us for nearly two years."

The home's recipient is Shandra Ryan, a single mother of three. She and her children will help build their home, as is required for all Habitat homes.

"We don't give these homes away. The family must put in 'sweat equity' and qualify for a mortgage," Durkin said.

The home will have Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification, which requires the use of recycled material, re-using existing material and using natural resources without destroying any ecological balances.

"We are partnering with Salt River Materials Group to make this a green house. Even the appliances will be Energy Star efficient," Durkin said.

The home will have a post tension rod foundation, which help give strength to the slab. Secondly, it will be HercuWall® construction, which means the walls will be a composite of concrete and steel.

"This house will be cool in the summer and so warm in the winter, resulting in very low utility bills" Durkin said.

Habitat is looking forward to building more homes in Sedona on property the group currently owns. It is in the process of finding families and encourages them to call 928-649-6788 or visit to see if they qualify. Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity is an ecumenical Christian organization.

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