Central High School’s class of 1977 celebrates its 35–year reunion building the 77th Habitat for Humanity home in the Black Hills. The North 7th Street house — located directly across the street from the Rapid City high school — was built in 7-days and completed in full Project ‘77 fashion.
“We wrapped it up 77 minutes before the program,” said Sue Jarvis, Project ‘77’s co-chair. “There was a lot of teamwork, a lot of old friends getting together.”
Members of the class didn’t just raise $50,000 to help build the home, they also raised hammers and paint brushes.
“The home is 1,054 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 1 bath home,” said Scott Engmann, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of the Black Hills.
The house is also built to energy star quality standards; an upgrade for soon–to–be homeowner Vanessa Adams. Just a year ago the single-mother of five didn’t have a steady place for her and her children to call home.
“It was very, very, scary and nerve–wrecking … not knowing where I was gonna go,” Adams said. “There were days that had to be lived hour–to–hour rather than day-to-day.”
For the last week, the 500 member class and more than 288 Habitat for Humanity volunteers worked to give the Batesland native a new foundation and a new set of keys.
“Everyone’s given up so much to do this for her and it was the best class reunion we ever had,” Jarvis said.
A reunion both the class of ‘77 and Adams can always reflect on by simply glancing across the street.
“It’s been a long, hard process and we’re almost there,” said Adams. “It’s almost a dream come true.”
Adams must fill out paperwork and close on the house before she’s given the keys. Although the house, sod and other items were donated to her, she’s responsible for paying her own mortgage. She will not have to pay interest.