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New house a welcome addition for Progress Industries

The newly constructed Progress Industries house boasts five bedrooms and 100 percent accessibility.
The newly constructed Progress Industries house boasts five bedrooms and 100 percent accessibility.

An opportunity — that is how Progress Industries President Sandy Ham described the latest PI house recently completed in Newton.

The five bedroom, 100 percent accessible house located along North Fourth Avenue East is now the home to four excited individuals with a fifth member planning to join soon. Construction started on October 14 with finishing touches wrapped up on March 4.

“We had some individuals needing a place to go, it was time for them to transition out of their family home into another home,” Ham said. “We had a couple of families who had actually purchased a D&D property and donated the lot to us to build the home and two of the families made a significant donation to Progress Industries so we could make this a reality.”

That opportunity is not the norm for PI. Typically, the standard at PI would be to buy or have a home donated, remodel it and begin to fill it with residents.

“Normally, had we not had the ability to get people in the home immediately and have it pretty much at capacity, it would have been very difficult for us to do,” Ham said. “The fact that we were able to already know that there was a need and know that we did not have to figure out ourselves how to fund a new home 100 percent by ourselves, we would not have been able to do that either.”

Kendall Moorman was selected to build the home and Ham couldn’t have been happier with the work he did.

“I was impressed with him and Natalie from start to finish. Not only did they do top notch work, they also connected with the project personally,” Ham said. “He was very generous with his time and money.”

Amenities in the house include 100 percent accessibility for wheelchair bound individuals, two fully accessible bathrooms both large enough for someone in a wheelchair to move around in as well as shower, accessible counters in both the bathroom and kitchen with the ability for a wheelchair to slide under and two living room areas each equipped with couches and televisions.

“The laundry room is fully enclosed with concrete block and has a steel cap on it, so if we do have someone that is not able to get to the basement, if there is a storm they can go in the laundry room with a steel door, they shut the door and the house could blow down around them and they would be perfectly fine,” Ham said. “It provides some comfort knowing that if they can’t navigate the stairs they have a place to go.”

Another special feature is a wrap around porch on the exterior. The porch was requested by a family member of a resident who said that they love to “watch the world go by.” 

The house is also completely void of stairs, except those leading to the basement.

“We got there with a lot of help from Kendall thinking about how you get that stuff accomplished,” Ham said. “It is tough for me to say enough about the good work he did over there.”

The transition for the residents to their new home was nothing short of seamless, Ham said. They were involved with the entire process, giving suggestions and watching as their new home came together.

“They were ready to go and they are loving it,” Ham said. “They invite their parents or family members over then when it is time for them to go they have a life and they are ready for them to go. They are really embracing it, their independence.”

The effort to build the house was helped by donated dollars, time and materials from businesses and organizations throughout the city. Those include Great Southern Bank who donated $5,000, the city of Newton through the $10,000 home buyer incentive program, Whirlpool who donated all appliances in the home, incentives from Noble Auto Group for a new van, Store for Homes for staging the home during the open house, The Floor Store for extra efforts in carpeting the house, Karl’s Windows and Stainmaster cleaners.

“It really is one of those situations, this house will provide value to Progress Industries, persons in our services, way beyond the people that are living there,” Ham said. “It was a gift to us and a gift to those families, it was just the right thing to do.”

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or

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