13 July 2018
RUTLAND, VT – Ten families from New York to California have been selected as finalists in GMP’s Rutland Innovation Home Contest – and one will win a cutting-edge, super-efficient home in the next several weeks.
The finalists, selected from more than 160 applicants, participated in interviews this week with a selection committee that included political, business and community leaders from Rutland. Applicants wrote a 500-word essay explaining why they want to live in the GMP Rutland Innovation Home and what the individual or family would bring to community life in Rutland.
“To say we were impressed with the finalists would be a huge understatement,” said Mayor Dave Allaire, who serves on the committee. “They include people with deep ties to and profound feelings for Rutland, and hard-working couples and families who have demonstrated tremendous commitments to building community and becoming integral to the ongoing revitalization of Rutland.”
The contest is a collaboration of Green Mountain Power, Naylor & Breen Builders, the United Way of Rutland County, NBF Architects, the City of Rutland, and dozens of partners. It is designed to support the ongoing rebirth in Rutland and marketing campaigns to bring more people to the state, while highlighting dozens of available jobs in the region. The home is a 1,500-square-foot New England farmhouse, and was built largely with donated materials and labor.
“What I have found most interesting in reading the applications and interviewing the finalists are that the things they describe as missing in their lives, such as a strong sense of community, breathing fresh air, being able to escape to a quiet place, or being able to spend time with their family because they don’t have hours-long commutes, are things that we have here and often take for granted,” said architect Edward Clark. “The life that each of these folks has told us they are looking for is the life Vermonters are living right now. It really affirmed my belief that this is a great place to live, and that Rutland is the best place in Vermont.”
A California family, who visited Rutland for a friend’s wedding, hopes to move from Los Angeles. “Their wedding weekend gave us a taste of the city’s beauty, community-minded values, and a most glorious reality, fresh air,” they wrote. “We were mesmerized by the dawn of leaves changing and the postcard-like nature surrounding us… It was a short but sweet visit that left us longing for more.”
Another finalist was born in Rutland, and whose family of four now lives in New Hampshire, said she wants to be closer to her parents in Rutland and give back to the place that helped provide her with great values. “This opportunity would provide a chance to immerse my children in the Vermont values of my childhood, allow me to help my parents, and allow me to again contribute to the community where I grew up,” she wrote. “My roots and heart are in Rutland.”
“I wish everyone here could have watched the interviews and seen how much love and appreciation was shown for the city and the greater-Rutland region,” GMP Vice President Steve Costello said.
The cutting-edge, energy-smart home, complete with solar, air-source heat pumps, two Tesla Powerwalls and an innovative insulation package, was built this winter and spring and replaced a dilapidated Cleveland Avenue home purchased for $1 from the City of Rutland. The prize includes the mortgage-free home, a local “concierge” to provide assistance with job searches and business and personal contacts, and free co-working space if desired at GMP’s Energy Innovation Center downtown.
“All of the finalists are incredible community-minded go getters!” said Caprice Hover, executive director of the United Way of Rutland County. “Truly any of them would be an asset to Rutland.”
The winner will be announced in August.
Besides the primary partners, more than 75 local, regional, and national businesses have made substantial commitments to the project. They include: They include: A.H. Harris Construction Supplies, Abatiello Design Center, ABC Supply Company, Inc., American Standard, Ammatuna Family, A. Tedesco Masonry Inc., Best Appliance, Bill Lohsen Plumbing & Heating, Bissette Construction, Black Diamond Builders, Bourne’s Energy, Boise Cascade, Brinc Building Products, Builder Specialties, Camp Precast Concrete Products, Carpenter & Costin, Casella Waste Systems, CED/Twin State Electrical Supply, Chey Insulation, Clay Point Associates, Daikin Air Intelligence, Efficiency Vermont, Enman – Kesselring Consulting Engineers, Environmental Hazards Management, F.W. Webb Company, Fabian Earthmoving, Ferguson Waterworks, Florence Crushed Stone, Frigidaire, Gilmore Home Center, Green Mountain Drywall, Green Mountain Electric Supply, Green Screen Graphics, groSolar, Hadeka Stone Corporation, Hawk Hill Cabinetry & Custom Woodwork, Henry Company, Heritage Family Credit Union, Housing Trust of Rutland County, Hubbard Brothers, Hubbard’s Portable Restrooms & Septic Service, Huber Engineered Woods, J.E. McLaughlin Inc., JP Carrara & Sons, Kamco Supply of Boston, Kaycan Building Products, Killington Ski Resort, Kinney Pike Insurance Agency, Kitchen Encounters, Lajeunesse Interiors, Marvin Windows and Doors, Misty Meadows, M&M Lawn Care and Trucking, Moen, Mountaintop Inn and Resort, Omega Electric, Owens Corning, Pins Fabricating Systems (PFS Inc.), Pratico’s Landscaping & Fence Co., r.k. MILES, Inc., Racette Electric, Rebars & Mesh, Riverside Truss, Rob Stubbins Electrical and General Contractors, ROCKWOOL, Royal Group Inc., Rutland Regional Medical Center, Rutland’s Magic Brush, Rynone Manufacturing Corp., Sargeant Appraisal Service, Schneider Electric, Sears Hometown, Shelter Industries, Sherwin Williams, Smart Cabinetry, Spacepak Inc., Stego Industries, The Stove Depot, SunCommon, Tesla, Inc., Trex Company, Vaillancourt Tree & Landscape Service, VT Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation, Vermont Roofing Company, Vermont Wood Pellet, Warerite Distributors, Watts Radiant, and Weyerhauser.
Kristin Kelly, Green Mountain Power