The site at 84 Woodrow Ave. in Delaware now has a few trees with Xs painted on them, wooden poles and flags placed in the ground, but Jessica Rose and her two children may eventually call it home.
Despite some surprising news last week, the family along with the Delaware County Habitat for Humanity and neighbors will gather to bless the site at a groundbreaking ceremony tonight.
“The kids and I are very excited,” Rose said.
This will be Habitat’s 58th home in Delaware County; 54th in the city; and a first for Woodrow Avenue, said Todd Miller, executive director of the Delaware County Habitat for Humanity.
The organization has raised $45,000 for the project and looks to raise an additional $40,000. Donors include the Westerville Habitat Partnership; and Powell Methodist Church, which will build the walls at its facility for the house on Aug. 27.
The Rose family will live in a three-bedroom, two-story home with a garage. Rose will purchase the home with a zero-interest mortgage and her payments, including the principal, taxes and insurance, will be less than 30 percent of her income, Miller said.
Due to the site’s location and the project receiving state funds, the Ohio Historic Preservation office will conduct a preliminary archaeological survey of the area to check for historical or cultural items before the home can be built. The survey will take 30 days to complete after officials study maps, property records and other sources.
The organization and the family were informed about the survey late last week.
“I was surprised to get this (news Thursday),” Miller said.
One of the main factors was because there was no previous home built on the site, he added.
On the other hand, the news is not a major setback in the long run depending on the results of the survey, Miller said.
“If they find an intact woolly mammoth, we’ll go from there,” he said.
Miller added that he’s respectful of the process and that construction would have to cease anyway if any historical or cultural items were found.
Rose and the kids had the chance to meet one of their next door neighbors when they visited the site Friday afternoon. Anna Adkins, who’s lived at her home with her husband Glenn for more than 40 years, welcomed them to neighborhood and said she got the invitation for tonight’s ceremony.
If built, the new house would alleviate the overcrowded conditions the family was living in. Rose, a massage therapist in Delaware County, now lives with her two children in a one-story, two-bedroom apartment. She shares the bedroom with her daughter, Gabriella Moore, 2, while her son Gavin Gorby, 11, has the other room.
Rose learned about the Habitat’s home ownership program from another homeowner who went through the same process.
“We’re just thankful for the volunteers and donors,” she said.
That includes Cindy Ray who worked with the family as a PAL Mentor assigned by Habitat to help them go through the program. Rose said Ray has been great guiding them through the program such as picking out the flooring for the house.
Habitat for Humanity has another home in the Delaware area that will be finished before Christmas at 181 S. Franklin St. for Rebecca Hughes and her two daughters — a survey was not required by the Ohio Historic Preservation office because a house used to exist at the address, Miller said.
The organization is also working to finalize the announcement of another homeowner project in September, Miller said.
The Rose family will pose with shovels for the ceremony at 6 p.m.
Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.