MOORE — Within the swath cut through Moore last May 20 by the brutal tornado that claimed property and lives, the landscape is still littered with debris, but these days it’s debris of a different kind.
The neighborhoods that caught the worst of the disaster — including Plaza Towers, Bonnie Brae and Lakeview — are sites of plastic wrappers, insulation and lumber scraps from construction, not destruction.
Builder Jay Evans, who is among those working to rebuild those Moore neighborhoods, recently completed a model house at 841 SW 11 that has been designated the 2014 Oklahoma Home Builders Foundation’s “House of Hope” to benefit Cavett Kids Foundation.
The House of Hope will be featured in the Parade of Homes Spring Festival, with homes open 1 to 7 p.m. May 2-4 and May 9-11. The House of Hope also will be formally unveiled at a public preview party from 3 to 6 p.m. May 6.
The Oklahoma Home Builders Foundation was formed in 2000 by the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association and provides financial assistance to children’s charities in the Oklahoma City area. The foundation has provided more than $520,000 to a variety of charities since its inception.
The Cavett Kids Foundation, founded in 1997 by University of Oklahoma Medical Center chaplain Danny Cavett, provides “positive experiences for courageous kids diagnosed with a life-threatening illness to promote the development of character, coping skills and connection,” according to its website.
Evans said profits from the sale of the house would go specifically to support the annual gift exchange and Christmas party for families supported by the Cavett foundation.
Evans founded Two Structures LLC nearly a decade ago after discovering an affinity for homebuilding and design while working with his twin brother, builder Jack Evans.
After buying and flipping houses for a few years, Jay Evans said, “I knew I loved it, but I was a little bit chicken” about entering the profession full-time.
Today, Two Structures has grown into a family enterprise.
Jay Evans’ daughter, Kelsey, is the company’s bookkeeper and marketing specialist, and his wife, Tricia, does “everything,” both Evanses agreed.
The need for rebuilding in Moore became apparent almost as soon as the winds died down, but it took months of due diligence on the part of homeowners, insurers and contractors before the construction spike under way now could begin.
Evans said he and a business partner bought the Bonnie Brae addition in its entirety for redevelopment. Two Structures also has homes in adjacent neighborhoods under construction or complete.
The House of Hope stands face-to-face with the ill-fated Plaza Towers Elementary School — itself currently a large-scale construction site. The May 20 tornado destroyed the school, where seven children died.
At 1,705 square feet, the three-bedroom, two-bathroom house with a traditional, stone exterior features a decidedly contemporary interior. The home is priced at $187,500.
Tricia Evans said that subcontractors and tradespeople had been “extremely generous” in providing finish materials and fixtures free of charge, as donations to the House of Hope project.
The kitchen includes granite countertops, stainless-steel appliances and high-quality faucets and fixtures to complement the bright, open feel Evans has achieved in his design.
In the master suite, the bathroom includes similar upgraded finishes.
Kelsey Evans said that the “OG&E certified silver level green home” also includes a “flex room” that can function as a formal dining room, a study or even as a fourth bedroom.
Evans said that he kept storm protection in mind in building the house, and was grateful for the participation of Simpson Strong-Tie, which provided upgraded metal fasteners for maximum wind resistance.
In the front lawn is a below-ground shelter installed after the May 3, 1999, tornado, where the previous owner and several neighbors safely avoided last year’s storm.
Project superintendent Tim Albro said he thought the shelter would need repairs or updates, “but it was dry and secure.”
“All we’re doing is installing a new handle on the door,” he said.
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