Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

One ‘Extreme’ demolition

Citizen Staff Writer



At noon Thursday there was no sign that 14-year-old Lizzie Bell’s home ever existed.

Tractors leveled the one-acre lot at 4630 N. Paseo Aquimuri. The 400 tons of debris from the home, first taken to a 5-acre lot a mile south on the corner of Craycroft and River roads, had all been loaded up into dump trucks and taken to the private Speedway Landfill to be sorted for recycling.

The home Lizzie shares with her mom and dad, Kathy and John Bell, and sister Alicia, 12, was selected for replacement by “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

The ABC TV show is picking, for this season’s show, people who have contributed to their communities and picked Lizzie because her congenital blood disorder – Diamond Blackfan anemia, which requires her to undergo two blood transfusions a month – has made her a poster child for blood donations.

Overnight Thursday the concrete foundation will be set and by early Friday morning steel frames will begin to show the structure of the new home.

To build the house in 106 hours, volunteer plumbers and electricians and rental equipment need to show up on time.

Laura Edwards, membership director for the Alliance of Construction Trades, is coordinating all the construction volunteers. Each must show up at the staging area at Craycroft and River to check in and receive a hard hat and “Extreme Makeover” shirt, before being sent to the site.

Thursday morning she had some issues with some stand-by workers not showing up, but luckily they weren’t needed. She must have plumbers, electricians and fork-lift operators available 24 hours a day.

“I’m so thankful when they show up,” she said. “Everyone wants to help, but they don’t all know what they need to do.”

As she spoke, employees from Yaqui Electric and Concrete Designs Inc. played cards. Although they weren’t needed at the construction site Thursday, they were helpful in moving around portable toilets and other equipment.

Rick Hernandez, of RDO equipment rentals, said RDO, nationwide, is often a participant in the “Extreme Makeover” show, although this is the first time the Tucson office was able to take part.

He said most of the equipment, from lighting to forklifts, was available in Tucson, although other stores in Arizona also donated equipment to be used.

“Something we really focus on is community support,” he said. “We jumped at the chance.”

John Wesley Miller, the builder of the project, said optimistically Thursday that everything was on schedule. However, because the effort is simultaneously being filmed for the show scheduled to air March 22, there is a lot of “hurry up and wait.”

“It’s a little frustrating as builders,” he said, “but we’re not complaining.”

Blood drive

Blood donors across the country will join Tucson in a national blood drive to honor Lizzie Bell, 14, whose home is currently being rebuilt by “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

Debra Deininger, communications manager for the American Red Cross Arizona Region Blood Services, said that while not all the blood will go to Lizzie, who needs two blood transfusions a month because of a rare blood condition, the event is meant to raise awareness about blood donation.

She said Arizona Region Blood Services provides an average of 300 units of blood a day to hospitals.

During a blood drive on Wednesday, Tucsonans donated 60 units of blood, she said. Each donated unit of blood can help up to three people.

Where to donate blood:

• Pima Community College East Campus, 8181 E. Irvington Road., 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Broadway Donor Center, 7139 E. Broadway, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

• Foothills Donor Center, 7401 N. La Cholla Blvd. at Foothills Mall, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Deininger recommends that potential donors make an appointment, although walk-in donors will be accommodated.

For more information or to make an appointment to give blood, call 800-GIVE-LIFE or 917-2820 or log onto www.helpsavealife.org.



If you go

Driving in the “Makeover” home’s neighborhood will be closed to everyone except residents. Would-be spectators should park at Fort Lowell Park, at North Craycroft Road and East Glenn Street, where a shuttle will run to and from the home site.

Our Digital Archive

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

There are more than 230,000 articles in this archive.

In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

Search site | Terms of service