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Supporters of The Hearth Project, including Monique Leong, Audrey Dolar Tejada and Joseph Yu, put a shovel into the ground during a groundbreaking ceremony for a project with the Lawton-Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce Redcoat Ambassadors at 2102 NW Arlington. The Hearth Project is starting a project to renovate a vacant house into a modern showcase home with modern materials and a geothermal heating/air conditioning system to reduce energy costs and consumption.

Hearth Project

'Eyesore' in Old Town North to be transformed into 'showcase' home

A project to remodel a Lawton home as a showcase featuring modern materials and technologies is underway.

Participating in the groundbreaking ceremony this week were officials of The Hearth Project, which is sponsoring the home project, and members of the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce Redcoat Ambassadors.

The Hearth Project is being led by Audrey Dolar Tejada, Monique Leong, Carlos Irizarry, Steve Howard and Joseph Yu. The house at 2102 NW Arlington will be transformed from an eyesore into a showcase home and garden as part of the project, which will be shared with the public as an educational effort rather than become a rental unit.

Tejada said the original plans for the 1,000 square-foot home involved a landscape beautification project, but that was later expanded into a much larger plan.

"But then we had a broader idea, why not turn it in to a 'showcase' project? We saw there was a higher purpose to document it," she said. "And it will turn a dilapidated house into a state-of-the-art product."

She described the entire project as one of "sweat equity" as The Hearth Project will retain ownership/occupancy as a "stewardship" effort.

Tejada said the project will use materials that include concrete, glass, wood, stone, water and air  mostly natural materials. A geothermal heating/air conditioning system will be installed that will significantly reduce heating and cooling costs year round. The yard will be the recipient of a xeriscape and drip irrigation project with the yard to be planted with vegetation such as native sustainable buffalo grass. Also planned is a volunteer project to build a tree house complete with a water well. Many of the materials for the project will be supplied for the effort by Hall Building Products of Lawton, which is one of 20 sponsors.

The Lawton Constitution

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