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Historic Peaks Island home deconstructed, with reusable materials to be donated

The Raymond family is donating all reusable pieces of their 1860s home on Peaks Island to the Maryland based nonprofit called Second Chance.

PORTLAND, Maine — "When we started, we realized the home was in tough shape," Fred Raymond said. 

Fred and his wife Jean own a two-story home on the west side of Peaks Island.

The couple say they've owned property on Peaks Island for more than two decades and purchased this current home about two years ago. The two hoped to renovate the home originally built in the 1860s but realized early in the process it just wasn't feasible.

"Usually we just have to tear down a house and put it in a dumpster, which is really sad," Heather Thompson, co-owner of Juniper Design + Build, said. 

Thompson and her company are the contractors working with the Raymonds on the project. Thompson said she and her team were made aware of the Maryland based nonprofit Second Chance, which specialized in deconstructing homes, and repurposing valuable materials. 

"Fifty-two percent of all the trash in Maine is from construction waste, and 90 percent of that is demolition, so we're doing a small part," Thompson said.

"That much more occupancy in a landfill that all this material's going to take up, it just seemed the proper thing to do," Fred said about when Thompson and her team shared details of 'Second Chance.'

Over the last week and a half, crews from Second Chance have been on Peaks Island alongside Juniper Design + Build fully deconstructing the historic home. Piece by piece, crews are taking apart the home and saving as much as possible to be donated.

The Raymonds are donating all portions salvaged from their aging home to Second Chance. Second Chance will then sell the items and materials, with proceeds going to support the organizations workforce training program, which helps provide job readiness and other training for individuals with barriers to entering the workforce, like prior incarceration.

"We give you your second chance. You need to earn it, you need to drive your bus to the place you want to go, but we're a mechanism to facilitate that and we're here to help you," Mark Foster, president and founder of Second Chance, said.

Once deconstruction is completed, the Raymonds' plan to work with Thompson and Juniper Design + Build to construct a new home, with roughly the same footprint. 

"The opportunity to build a new house that's going to last for another 150 years is pretty exciting," Thompson said. 

Foster said Second Chance hopes to repurpose as much of the material as possible in various projects happening across Peaks Island. 

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