Building new opportunities in Avondale

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A new green space and streetscape in Avondale is starting with the salvage of three properties at Forest and Vine. The properties, owned by the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden will be deconstructed by Building Value, a subsidiary of Easter Seals Work Resource Center.

Building Value, working in partnership with ACT Recycling and Rumpke, will keep with the Zoo's mission and recycle or reuse as much as 85 percent of the material from the houses on the sites.

The Cincinnati Zoo chose Building Value to deconstruct the three, 1,500 square foot houses located at 3618 and 3622 Vine St. and 8 Forest Ave. in Avondale. Deconstruction is a systematic approach to the disassembly of a structure for the purpose of salvaging material for reuse and recycling.

The process which will take approximately 25 days to complete will employ a crew of about 15 and will result in a beautiful streetscape to showcase the Avondale Community. Building Value partnered with ACT Recycling and Rumpke in late 2009 to increase the amount of building material that can be recycled or reused in a typical demolition project.

Deconstruction plays a pivotal role in developing green building sites and in the LEED certification process. Rumpke provides its wood recycling services (composting) and necessary disposal services for unusable lumber from the project and ACT Recycling provides concrete removal and recycling. Building Value provides the deconstruction crew made of individuals who are previously unemployed, underemployed and economically disadvantaged.

By working at Building Value, the crew gains experience and training they need to gain employment and pursue a skilled career. All of the salvaged material will be available for purchase at Building Value's retail store located at 4040 Spring Grove Ave. Since the partnership began, Rumpke has recycled more than 22,000 pounds of wood material and assisted with 23 jobs.

"Rumpke is always looking for ways to reduce the amount of trash going to the landfill. Building Value offers a great opportunity to assist with wood recycling and help those in need obtain much needed job experience," said Amanda Pratt, communication manager at Rumpke.

"It's a win-win for the community as a whole and we are honored to part of the process." The deconstruction process eliminates the harvest of more than 75 trees, reduces the volume of waste requiring landfill disposal by 19,000 cubic feet, provides enough lumber for 1,485 square feet of affordable housing and the salvage of lumber and panel products avoids the generation of green houses equivalent to removing more than six passenger cars from road.

"There's no better training for people interested in a career in construction then being on a job site and learning first-hand how things come apart," says Jerry Janszen, director, Building Value.

"To date we've trained close to 100 people through our programs some of whom are now working for companies like: Messer Construction, CHC Fabrication and numerous area apprenticeship programs. We can't think of a better way to support the community than to provide people an opportunity to learn new skills that will eventually lead to a new career."

The project at the corner of Forest and Vine Streets plans to be a showplace for the Avondale Community. "The Avondale Community is supportive of this project on many fronts," says Avondale Community Council President Patricia Milton.

"The gateway project becomes more than just a pretty corner to welcome our visitors to Avondale. The deconstruction is a smart way to reuse the materials along with the jobs created. Then new green space benefits residents and builds upon collective projects moving the community to be a great place to live, work, worship and play."