Construction is underway on a home in Norridgewock, Maine, but the contractors won’t be paid a dime. They are donating their services to a family who has already paid the ultimate sacrifice.
It will be a house for the family of Cpl. Eugene Cole, the Somerset County Sheriff’s Deputy shot and killed in the line of duty on April 25. When he died, his wife Sheryl Cole thought their plans to build a new home were gone too.
But then she had a meeting with Joel Violette, President of Fairfield Drafting and Construction.
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“After I first met her, I decided we were going to do everything we could to help,” he said.
Violette’s team started drawing up blueprints for a home even bigger and better than Sheryl proposed. He wanted to make sure the home was built well, required little maintenance, and had room for Sheryl’s seven grandchildren to visit. While it would have been way over budget, Violette told her not to worry. He’d do it for free.
“She was a little overwhelmed and had to sit in my office for a while because she didn’t think she’d be able to drive home,” Violette said.
Soon, other contractors started lining up to pitch in – offering to do their work for free, too. From the roof to the foundation, businesses from around central Maine are helping the Cole family rebuild.
“It’s a fresh start,” said Shawn Dixon, owner of Dixon Construction. “Not so many memories wrapped up in the old home. They can hold on to the good memories, and create new ones.”
Dixon’s team laid the foundation on the home Thursday. He said he had to rearrange his schedule to work on the Cole home, but it was well worth the effort.
“I just think she deserves it,” he said.
Sheryl Cole is able to keep an eye on the work from the comfort of her current home. The new house is being built in their backyard.
On Aug. 14, the posted a picture to her Facebook page with a message to her late husband: “Happy Anniversary, hon. It’s a bit ironic.... we laid our foundation 42 years ago today. Now, a whole new one is being done for us. I pray you have a great day, and I pray my tears won’t last too long. I love you, and I just miss you so much.”
Violette said with most other projects, his crew and foreman would be out in the field. But this project means so much to him, he plans to oversee construction daily. He hopes it shows Cole’s grandchildren how many good people in the community care about them.
“We can’t right a wrong, but hopefully we can make it not so hard,” he said.
Work is expected to be completed in 8 weeks. To help with the cost of materials, donations are being accepted through a fund at the Kennebec Savings Bank in Waterville.