“Extreme Makeover” a wrap, but community spirit lives on in new project

Jeff Lampe and daughter Angela on the steps of their new "Extreme Makeover" home

The last day, Thursday, I felt too tired to go the reveal – the climax when “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” crew and volunteers show the family the finished home.

But it was like being pregnant and not being there for the birth.

I felt the workers had done all the hard stuff, so I was there to see the people I worked along side.

I was there to enjoy this with them.

This may sound funny, but this really wasn’t about the Lampes. I couldn’t care less if they were worthy of the “Home Edition” attention or not.

What was powerful for me was that the community came together, especially at a time  – the end of the political season – when we’re being barraged with all the reasons we shouldn’t get along.

With “Extreme Makeover,” we – the people who worked on the project – were all given a gift …  to opportunity to come together to create something amazing. And the thing we created was not the house.

It was the feeling of community.

When I arrived at job site on the last day, there was still a lot of construction going on.  Even as the metal roof was being completed, a worker with a pressure washer was being lifted into position to remove dust and mud.

The cement-board siding was not complete.  Joe Pusateri, CEO of project manager Elite Homes, monitored progress from front porch.

Crews were bringing in lighting.

Before the limo arrived carrying the Lampe family, the show’s production staff gave spectators directions, even practicing yelling the famous “Move that Bus!” line.

The St. Xavier High School wrestling team was there.

The design team of Paul, Ed and Paige welcomed the family, along with “Extreme Makeover” host Ty Pennington.

Which is all good.

But here’s a great side story:

There is a small house on half-acre property next to the Lampe compound. Jefferson County PVA records list the owners as Clarence and Linda Barr.

The Barr property was overrun with construction equipment, materials, debris and workers 24 hours per day.

One day (they all blended together after awhile), George Hart, vice president of American Roofing & Metal Co. and his crew of sheet metal workers were sitting in the dirt completely worn out, trying to regain some energy and enthusiasm.

Mr. Barr walked up to them, patted the guys on the back while complementing them, then encouraged them when they needed to hear it the most.

Mr. Barr and his wife were so gracious during the build that Hart wants to do a rehab-of-sorts to thank the couple for their hospitality and inspiration.

Hart has managed to pull a group of contractors together to make this happen.

Hart’s American Roofing & Metal guys along with Danny Shain, president of Shain Steel Inc., will be installing a new roof.

Keith Metcalfe, a Nelson County contractor, is handling excavation to ensure the Barr Home’s foundation water problems are alleviated.

After that is done Mark Stowe with M&J Landscaping will spruce up the exterior.  Hart is open to more volunteers and ideas to help create an extreme experience for an extremely nice couple.  If interested, email [email protected].

I believe I wrote in one of my first articles covering the Extreme Makeover that the show gives voice to citizenship and volunteerism; leave it to Louisville’s finest to give it legs!