The students began clearing the site that morning and had laid most of the cement foundation before noon. It was the culmination of an effort launched early this year by the 2007 senior class.
Most of the money being used to build the $50,000 home came from fundraising efforts led by the students. Several local companies helped their cause by donating labor and materials.
Evans, a senior at the school, said the 2007 class elected to build the habitat home with a two-part mission in mind.
We wanted to be different. I dont think this has been done before at Darlington, he said. And we want to make it a tradition.
The South Rome Redevelopment Agency, an offshoot of the South Rome Redevelopment Corp., approved plans for the new habitat home last month. The agency provided the lot at 409 Wilson Ave., which it received as a donation from the city of Rome.
Bruce Day, executive director of Habitat for Humanity for Rome and Floyd County, said he hopes to dedicate the house by May 20, a week before Darlington Upper Schools graduation.
Day said a family has been selected to live in the three-bedroom home, but he declined to release its name.
Edmund Cescutti, a retired local mason, was at the construction site Saturday with several members of his family. They hustled to erect the foundation as the students hauled cinder blocks across the yard.
We intend to lend a helping land, said Cescutti, whose family has helped build local habitat homes for 12 years.
Another retired craftsman, Richard York, said helping with the project is his way of returning a favor.
Life has been good, and you want to give back, he said.
Darlington English teachers David Powell and Leanne Mann supervised the students as they worked.
Its a school project, so we need to be in on it, Powell said.
Nearby, residents James and Earline Williams watched the house take shape as they relaxed on the lawn of their Wilson Avenue home, where they have lived for three years.
Thats going to be nice, James Williams said of the new home. I have watched how (Habitat) houses are built, and they build them good.