Rebuild renovates empty buildings

Demolition and Renovation occurred inside of buildings in Huntington on Saturday, Sept. 28, when Baptist Campus Ministry (BCM) helped with Rebuild projects.

Rebuild, an organization in Huntington, strives to help the people in Huntington by renovating buildings to give people who are struggling a place to hang out and escape the realities of their lives.

“We wanted to give some of the people with tougher lives a place to go,” Steven Szkeley, a volunteer as the project manager for Rebuild, said. “One of the best ways to do that is transforming a place into somewhere where people can go to pray and convey their troubles. A coffee shop is also a good place to hang out and debrief.”

One of the ways that the Rebuild team does this is by pairing up with BCM and having the members volunteer for labor.

“This is the fourth or fifth time that BCM has helped us with a project like this,” Szkeley said.  “They tear into the building by smashing walls, putting up dry wall, cleaning and moving furniture. I am always impressed with the immense amount of work they put out to help us. Not a single person is on their phone; it is a solid group effort. They give every ounce of effort they have every single time they have volunteered.”  

Although the Rebuild team has two more empty buildings to renovate, one of the formerly empty buildings has been renovated into a ministry. The current building BCM and the Rebuild team is working on is being renovated into a coffee house, Szkeley said.

One of the other goals is to give people hope that things can get better if you work on them, said Paul Law, the assistant director of Rebuild.

“One of our goals is to give a visual representation by showing people that no matter how something is damaged or destroyed, that it can be fixed,” Law said. “Some people feel like their lives are beyond repair, so we want to try and give people that hope by turning a place that was once so empty to a place with meaning.”

Despite one of the main goals being to renovate certain buildings and to help others, Szkeley said that it is also an outreach to people who are not affiliated with Christianity who are interested in learning more about the faith. 

“Overall, it is a Christian outreach,” Szkeley said. “People from BCM get an opportunity to share their beliefs with others as well as show how the power of Christ can change a building from nothing to something.”

Aaron Dickens can be contacted at [email protected]