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Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Productivity reigns

By CHASE SQUIRES
Published March 9, 2005


SEMINOLE - Extreme Makeover: Home Edition builders were extremely wet, extremely cold and extremely productive in the predawn hours Wednesday. By midmorning, the giant home they are building for shooting victim James Dolan had walls, windows and a roof.

Lexington Homes president Craig Gallagher said workers worked in terrible conditions - temperatures in the 40s, slick surfaces, rain and darkness - but came through without complaint. Crews worked in shifts, changing clothes frequently and hovering over kerosene heaters to fend off the chill, he said.

Extreme Makeover and Lexington Homes are building a home for Dolan, a father of three blinded in the Nov. 18 St. Petersburg RadioShack shootings. On Tuesday, their 1960s-era ranch house was leveled in under 10 minutes. Gallagher said once debris was cleared, a new concrete pad of about 5,000 square feet, was poured. The quick-drying concrete was solid by 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, and walls started going up.

In addition to scores of volunteers, carpenters and television workers scurrying around the 99th Way N. neighborhood, Cristina Pelletier stopped by to help in the media tent, helping reporters gather information at the site.

Pelletier, 25, is a financial services representative from Sarasota who last week appeared on the original Extreme Makeover show, a program about people changing their looks and style with the help of experts and ABC. Pelletier, who had plastic surgery and liposuction as part of a two-month process - as well as hairstyle and makeup changes - said ABC producers were so good to work with and she was so pleased with the results, that she wanted to help with the Home Edition show.

"It's been incredible, it really is changing my life, and I wanted to be part of helping this family and help change their lives," Pelletier said.

Despite the bold new look and outwardly confident manner, Pelletier said she still feels inside like the shy young woman she was before her makeover.

Gallagher said crews were about 10 hours ahead of schedule Wednesday and on track to put the finishing touches on the home by Saturday.

The Dolan's are due home Sunday to see their new house, and the show is expected to air in five to eight weeks.

[Last modified March 9, 2005, 17:36:52]


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