Volunteers working on a ‘quick build’
BY NATE GREEN
Boomerang Staff Writer
In just four days, a group of nearly 300 Jehovah’s Witnesses will build a new Kingdom Hall on McCue Street in Laramie. They started framing walls Thursday morning and will be finished with painting and landscaping Sunday evening.
In a modern version of a community barn raising, volunteer workers from Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming have joined to build the structure, which will be about 4,000 square feet.
They split into 20 crews specializing in different aspects of the construction — from electrical to roofing to duct work. Others served food and provided first aid. The construction site rang with a cacophony of drills, saws, welders and hammers as the workers rushed through their assignments.
“It may seem like a lot of chaos, but it is organized down to the last detail,” explained Ben Jewett, an elder with the church in Laramie. A lot of planning was done before the workers arrived, from securing permits to preparing the site and ensuring that all the materials are delivered, he said.
Those who volunteer for these “quick-builds” also hold regular jobs, and they use vacation time and weekends to build new halls. Many of the Witnesses have worked on 20 or more similar projects and have become accustomed to the quick and efficient work. Some are professional builders who donate tools and vehicles in addition to their expertise, he added.
“Because these groups were prepared, it was easy for them to come here and help. Some had to be turned away,” Jewett said.
“We’ve had no problems at all. We’ve got lots of people helping, and it’s very well organized,” added Tim Cotton, a Laramie elder.
The Laramie Jehovah’s Witness has 76 members, Jewett said.
A growing congregation and problems with parking at the previous Kingdom Hall on Clark Street spurred the construction of the new building, he said.