STATESVILLE – Volunteers from Lowe’s Co. Inc. kicked off a renovation project last week in Statesville to aid a local nonprofit that provides at-need children a safe place to live. The King Home, a psychiatric facility for children on Barium Springs’ main campus, was in need of some extra kitchen and office storage.
On Nov. 1, King Home will become the only residential site in the state providing crisis-assistance services to children either headed for or coming out of psychiatric hospitals. The ranch–style house, built in the 1960s, has a capacity for eight children. The average stay is 30 to 45 days.
“They had pots and pans everywhere,” said Barium Springs Development Manager Lorie Fees, referring to the kitchen staff’s tight quarters. “They were even using the top of the fridge” for storage, she said. The office, she said, could accommodate only a couple of employees at a time.
Lowe’s Heroes is a company-wide initiative that offers employees a chance to work on local community-improvement projects. Last year, thousands of the Mooresville-based home-improvement retailer’s workers volunteered at some 1,200 sites. Lowe’s contributed nearly $1.8 million in materials to support the projects.
“Without the Lowe’s Heroes coming on campus to renovate the storage space in our King Home, the staff would be inconvenienced, cramped and probably a lot more stressed than they will be now that these improvements have happened,” Fees said. “Our state has cut $90 million out of the child welfare spending since 2010. Finding money for remodeling projects, new furniture, and the luxury of ideal office space to do your paperwork is just not possible.”
Residents who had been living at the house moved to other parts of the campus during the renovation. More than 65 Lowe’s volunteers then worked all week to get the house in order.
They installed laminate flooring and lighting fixtures, painted, and cleaned and organized closets. Carpenters dismantled, replaced and added extra kitchen cabinetry, effectively doubling the room’s storage. They also refurbished shelving in the office, built a bench that doubles as a receptacle, and bought an outdoor deck box to hold sports equipment. Residents now have a place to put away games, food and personal items.
Lowe’s volunteer and team captain Erin Ridolfo was happy to spend her time helping others.
“I’m excited to inspire the hardworking staff of Barium Springs with a new and improved office and kitchen space that will allow them to better serve the children that will come through this home,” she said. “It is great to see how we can use the products at Lowe’s to improve their dire need for organization and use fun products such as white dry-erase paint.”
With the renovation nearing completion, Fees said she was grateful to the Lowe’s volunteers.
“It’s so cool,” she said. “It’s pretty amazing.”
Barium Springs was founded in 1891. The organization provides residential care to traumatized youth through group settings, foster care and adoption programs. It also provides educational, prevention and developmental programs. Barium Springs offers services in 41 western N.C. counties.
Project description: Renovation of kitchen and office at King Home
Address: 156 Frazier Loop, Statesville
Contractor: Lowe’s volunteers
Construction started: Oct. 20
Construction completed: Oct. 25