By SHERI GASSAWAY
Several Bricklayers Local 1 apprentices recently volunteered to build the load-bearing block piers for a deck on a smart home under construction for former Rock Hill Police Officer Matt Crosby, who was shot and paralyzed in the line of duty.
Crosby was shot while responding to a domestic disturbance call in 2010 and is paralyzed from the chest down. The 5,000-square-foot smart home is handicapped-accessible and is designed to fit Crosby’s physical needs.
Dale Jennewein, Bricklayers Local 1 apprentice coordinator, said he received a call requesting help from one of the superintendents at Heitkamp Masonry. The signatory Bricklayers Local 1 contractor has volunteered its services for the project, and the company’s suppliers are providing free materials.
Jennewein recruited four Bricklayers apprentices for the job, and Heitkamp sent an apprentice, a foreman and a laborer. The group recently spent the day working together to build the 13-to-15 piers needed to hold up the deck from the second floor of the house. The piers will later be wrapped in stone.
THE RIGHT THING TO DO
“It was just the right thing to do,” Jennewein said. “Officer Crosby needs the help, and we have the skills to accomplish the work. It also provides good training and real world experience for our guys. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.”
Crosby’s new smart home has been a long time coming. In 2017, architectural firm Schaub+Srote volunteered to design the home for free, and businesses, Labor and community members stepped up to donate money, materials and labor for the project.
GARY SINISE FOUNDATION
In September 2019, the Gary Sinise Foundation, which helps build homes for wounded veterans and first responders nationwide, announced that it would help the local community finish the smart home though its R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) program. The home is expected to be complete in June.
To make a donation on Crosby’s behalf, visit GarySiniseFoundation.org/Donate, or mail a check payable to Gary Sinise Foundation, citing Crosby as the donation recipient in the memo, to the Gary Sinise Foundation, P.O. Box 50008 Studio City, CA 91614.