Seven days to complete a house doesn't seem like a lot of time, but somehow the architects and designers on ABC's hit show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition somehow manage to pull it off week after week; however, not without the help of contractors and volunteers. For an episode scheduled to air at the end of April, some of the volunteers helping Ty Pennington and the other designers are locals from Our Lady of Consolation parish in Parkesburg.
"You'd blink and they'd have the foundation done, you'd blink again and the roof was ready to be put on," said Joan Agen, of Parkesburg, who volunteered in the VIP tent.
Agen's connection to the show was another parishioner, Rob Wishneski, who, as a contractor from Dewey Homes, served as the project manager for the exterior and the landscaping.
"It was unbelievable," said Rob's wife, Mary Wishneski, when contacted this week by the Parkesburg Ledger. "A once in a lifetime experience."
She was there when the original house came down, and the infamous line from lead contractor, Ty Pennington, "Bus driver, move that bus", was expected to occur sometime in the afternoon Wednesday, March 29.
Because the children were too young to be on the actual construction site (they're 11 and 16, respectively), Mary said they stayed in the tent area, serving drinks and food to the construction and production crews. However, she said the kids were really excited to be there.
"They kept going 24 hours a day," said Wishneski, of the construction and production crew. "No one seemed to get tired."
Wishneski added, "It's amazing how much goes on that isn't shown... the trades involved, the electrical work."
And, Agen, who estimated she saw about a dozen people from Our Lady of Consolation around the construction site in Philadelphia, said other local companies were used, such as Weaver Co. in Oxford. "They brought in cement and there was another company from Ephrata," she said.
Agen, who went down with her husband and son, said the rain Saturday night held work up, particularly with installing the roof.
According to Agen, it was Extreme Makeover's first time being in Pennsylvania. The family the show was assisting was a couple who is raising their three grandchildren. Production and construction went from Wednesday to Wednesday, March 22 to March 29.
Agen said they weren't allowed to say anything about the show until after Wednesday, so she found herself lying to her mother when she asked her to watch her youngest son, Andrew.
"I was just like, 'we're going to be in the Philadelphia area and we need someone to watch Andrew,'" laughed Agen. "When she wanted to know why, I said we were attending a seminar and then after Wednesday came and went, I called her up and said, 'Mom, I'm so sorry, I've been lying to you.'"