Hopper Walls Project: Groundbreaking Ceremony
Thursday, November 8th at 10am @ the Southeast Corner of Hopper Ave & Coffey Lane
November 1, 2018
Santa Rosa, CA: Coffey Strong, in partnership with AshBritt Environmental and Rebuild NorthBay Foundation, is pleased to announce the groundbreaking of the Hopper Walls Project will take place on Thursday, November 8th at 10am @ the Southeast Corner of Hopper Ave & Coffey Lane
AshBritt Environmental, Rebuild NorthBay Foundation and Coffey Strong collaborated for the past several months to ensure all of the costs were covered, including demolition of the existing walls, debris removal, and replacement with a design and fire rated material chosen by residents. The group is thankful to contractors Wolff Contracting and Mountain G for their pro bono resources in the demolition and disposal of the wall, as well as Martin Hirsch of the law firm of Perry, Johnson, Anderson, Miller and Moskowitz for the significant pro bono legal assistance provided for this project. Coffey Strong, AshBritt, and Rebuild Northbay are grateful for the support of the City of Santa Rosa in navigating the process, from permits to removals.
“The Hopper Walls Project is about building hope. When the private, public, nonprofit and neighborhood
groups collaborate, we can accomplish great things. This project and others like it will provide a tangible
marker of process and a reminder we are all in this rebuild together until the last family is home.” said Henry Hansel, who serves on the Board of Directors for Rebuild NorthBay Foundation as well as being a major employer in the region.
Jeff Okrepkie, Coffey Strong founder and former president stated, “The start of the Hopper wall project symbolizes the beginning of the rebuild of not the homes but the neighborhood in its entirety. The wall is a constant reminder of the loss we all felt on that night, and its demolition, then replacement, will help us all continue to heal. The wall’s new bigger and stronger construction will be a symbol of the new Coffey Park community which is poised to be bigger and stronger itself.”
“Understanding that the road to a full recovery is a long one, AshBritt is excited for this key milestone in the project and looks forward to the continued progress to make this community-driven initiative a reality,” said AshBritt CEO, Brittany Perkins. “This project has been one of the more meaningful community initiatives
AshBritt has had the honor of being a part of, and we feel great about how this community infrastructure will be a strong symbol of neighborhood resiliency for years to come.”
About the Wall
After interviewing numerous contractors and soliciting quotes, Coffey Strong chose Restructure Group LLC of New York, the manufacturer of the RSG-3D structural panel system as the material supplier for the project. A number of RSG-3D certified contractors have participated in the design of the wall and will be responsible for the construction over a period of 3 months. The existing 6’ precast wall will be removed and replaced with a new 8’ high strength, highly durable privacy wall. This wall system was specifically chosen for many reasons. This panel wall system is fireproof, seismic-resistant, easily repairable and sound attenuating. The 2900 linear feet of wall will be a stucco finished wall with columns placed 20’ on center. Coffey Strong is still seeking funding for the stone veneers on the columns.
After the devastating October 9, 2017 fires, it was discovered that the wall along the north and south side of Hopper Ave. was not public property but was owned by the homeowners that adjoined it. The costs of demolition and rebuilding placed a financial and logistical burden for the 42 homeowners along Hopper Ave. Coffey Strong wanted to help find a solution that would benefit the neighbors and provide a new “Gateway to Coffey Park.” The total cost to remove, dispose and replace the existing wall is approximately $ 18,250.00 per homeowner.
AshBritt contacted Rebuild NorthBay Foundation in late February of 2018 inquiring about projects that would have a meaningful impact on the community. Immediately, Rebuild Executive Director Jennifer Gray Thompson suggested the Coffey Park walls. AshBritt understood the practical and emotional imperative of completing this project and rose to the challenge. The in-kind donation from Ashbritt and the support and partnership between Rebuild NorthBay Foundation and Coffey Strong allowed this to happen.
Notably, the original estimate of $300,000 to replace the walls fell far short of the actual cost. In response, AshBritt increased their contribution to $450,000 for the Coffey Park wall and other yet to be specified community initiatives through the Rebuild NorthBay organization. In addition, AshBritt and its partners are contributing an additional $100,000 to $200,000 in in-kind contributions relating to the demolition, hauling, and disposal of the existing wall.