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Speedy work under way on 'Aimee's Wing'

Video as construction crews from various sub-contractors design and build a two-story 1,976-sqare-feet addition connecting to the home of Aimee Copeland.


Special Photo -- In this file photo, Aimee Copeland recently met with interior designer Donna DeLuca, left, to discuss the color scheme and other details of the wing being added to her family's Snellville home as Isabelle Ponder, center, looks on. Copeland 24, is in need of special accommodations at her residence as she battles a disease that destroys flesh resulting in doctors amputating her leg, foot and both hands.

Special Photo -- In this file photo, Aimee Copeland recently met with interior designer Donna DeLuca, left, to discuss the color scheme and other details of the wing being added to her family's Snellville home as Isabelle Ponder, center, looks on. Copeland 24, is in need of special accommodations at her residence as she battles a disease that destroys flesh resulting in doctors amputating her leg, foot and both hands.

Video

VIDEO: "Aimee's Wing" Construction

Video as construction crews from various sub-contractors design and build a two-story 1,976-sqare-feet addition connecting to the home of Aimee Copeland.

Video as construction crews from various sub-contractors design and build a two-story 1,976-sqare-feet addition connecting to the home of Aimee Copeland.

SNELLVILLE -- When the end is something undeniably good, expedited -- and donated -- means seem only natural.

Construction at the Copeland family's Snellville home began just a week ago, with crews pouring foundation June 10 on the nearly 2,000-square-foot addition affectionately dubbed "Aimee's Wing." By Monday, the framing and roofing was already done and basic electrical was being installed.

Inspections will be completed Tuesday. Insulation and drywall will go in Wednesday. What would typically be a 130-day project will be knocked out in as few as 38, with crews as large as 40 workers putting in long weekday hours and plugging away through the weekend.

It's all for Aimee Copeland, the 24-year-old South Gwinnett High School grad currently rehabbing as she continues to recover from the flesh-eating bacteria that claimed her leg, foot and both hands.

The work is being coordinated by Pulte Homes and supported by a roster of partners so lengthy that a new strip had to be added to the sign listing them all.

"The fact that we've been able to get this done ... is only because of the inspiration, the pull, the reach that Aimee Copeland has," said Stephen Haines, Pulte's vice president of sales and marketing. "Everybody we mentioned her name to, every trade partner said yes, how can I help, I can be there right away."

"Aimee's Wing" will almost double the size of the Copelands' modest home near Mink Livsey Road in Snellville.

Aimee herself played an integral role in the plans, working with Norcross architect Rob Ponder to design the two-story addition that will include a bedroom, bathroom, study, fitness room, elevator and sun room, as well as a kitchen expansion for the whole family to use.

The wing will be bathed in natural light, a chief demand for the self-proclaimed free spirit whose master's thesis focuses on eco-psychology. There's probably more window space than wall space in the fitness-room-to-be, which will include parallel bars for Aimee to get used to walking with prosthetics.

The sun room opens up to an impressive backyard dogwood tree.

"The intent was to invite the outside in," Ponder said. "She wants to be able to see trees and leaves and the forest as much as she can."

The whole project is being donated by Pulte Homes, Home Depot and their subcontractors, which numbered Monday somewhere in the ballpark of 40. More are consistently being added, Haines said.

The compressed timeframe is an effort to beat Aimee home from rehab, where she's been since leaving Doctors Hospital in Augusta at the start of July. Original thinking held that Aimee's rehab, held at an undisclosed metro Atlanta location, would take six to eight weeks.

"It's been a lot of long days of execution and long nights of planning," Ryan Lewis, Pulte's VP of construction operations, said Monday while dodging workers. "We're a little bit all over each other, but getting it done."

When it's "finally" done, the expedited process will be well worth it.

"She's going to be able to come home to a place that's familiar, but also to a place that's new, a place that's custom-designed specifically to meet her needs," Aimee's father, Andy Copeland, said. "That is what I think we find really exciting. Being able to have the best of both worlds is an amazing thing."

Comments

kevin 1 year, 9 months ago

I hope she has a long life there.

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