Sand Hill Farm Ground Breaking Ceremony

From Left to Right, Bob Porter – Culver Utilities Superintendent, Jack Jordan – State Representative, Dale Cramer – Lake City Bank, Joel Samuelson – Culver Town Council, Kevin Berger – Easterday Construction Co., Inc., Tammy Shaffer – Culver Town Council, Ginny Munroe – Culver Town Council President.

I was pretty impressed with the turn out for the Sand Hill Farm Ground Breaking Ceremony last Tuesday, November 5th. There were around 35 people there including representatives from the Town, County and State. Town Council President – Ginny Munroe, County Commissioner – Kevin Overmyer and Lake City Bank Representative – Dale Cramer all spoke in support of the project. I truly appreciated the kudos. We broke out the gold shovels and made a showing of it for the Press.

Speaking about Workforce Housing at the Stellarbration on November 5th. From Left to Right, Kevin Berger – Easterday Construction Co., Inc., Brian Meek – Elkay Wood Products, Karen Shuman – Culver Community School Corp., Don Fox – Culver Academies

The theme from everyone was how this was a first step towards addressing Culver and Marshall County’s workforce housing needs. Currently, Marshall County has an unemployment rate of less than 3%. The general “rule” is that once it gets below 4%, everyone that wants to work is working. Since there are still jobs going unfilled, the next step would be to recruit labor from outside the County. That’s difficult when there isn’t housing available for those new workers. Sand Hill Farm hopes to be a first step towards addressing this. This is Easterday Construction being a community partner/leader.

Along with the several of our area newspapers, we received coverage from the three major networks, ABC 57, WNDU 16 and WSBT 22. See WSBT links for video clips of the Stellerbration event and ABC 57 and WNDU 16 for a little more about the Sand Hill Farm ground breaking. They were all kind with their video editing and made us look good!

Housing was the signature piece of Culver’s Stellar Communities application and I truly think we wouldn’t have scored as highly without the Phase I portion of this project underway. It showed that even without winning Stellar designation last year, Culver moved forward, addressing the needs identified in our Strategic Investment Plan. Having Regional Cities also put money towards this project was positive too. It showed a regional commitment that the State values. At several of the presentations, I was pleased to stand with Culver’s three largest employers, Elkay Wood Products, Culver Community School Corporation and Culver Academies, as their representatives spoke about the needs this project was addressing and how this needs to be just the start.

Excavation underway at Sand Hill Farm. Some of the hill is going into the building pad.

Tuesday was a true ground breaking as we made our presentations with an excavator working in the background. Currently the building pad is nearly complete and the excavator should be cutting in footings in the next week. the site looks quite different.

We’re racing the weather to get the slab done so we can work through the winter. Since it is slab-on-grade construction, that means a fair amount of underground utility work needs to be completed as well. Cross your fingers for us!

It sounds like the Town will delay their street work until Spring. That shouldn’t affect us as long as they are complete sometime in June. The goal is to be open next summer before the new school year starts. That would meet many of our goals, i.e. increased Town population, increased school enrollment and an expanded labor pool.

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Thanks to Nancy Tyree at MCEDC for the pictures.

 

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