Last October Hurricane Sandy hit the eastern seaboard, resulting in 117 deaths in the United States (69 more deaths in Canada and the Caribbean) and billions of dollars in damage. Families in some areas are still working to rebuild their lives nearly a year after Sandy, estimated by the National Hurricane Center to be the second-costliest tropical cyclone on record (behind Katrina).
One of those people rebuilding is St. John’s strength and conditioning coach Patrick Dixon, whose house on Long Island was destroyed by the natural disaster. But instead of packing up and moving elsewhere Dixon’s done what many have chosen to do: rebuild, erecting a three-floor house to replace the original single-story home in Long Beach, N.Y.
Rather than use his insurance and federal grant money to either purchase or build a home similar to the original structure Dixon borrowed in order to help offset the costs for a larger (and ultimately, better equipped to handle major storms) dwelling, acquiring permits needed in order to legally demolish and rebuild his house.
He hired professionals for the complicated jobs that required licensed contractors — pouring a foundation or laying out electric wiring. Since May he’s spent hours in early afternoons and evenings to put up frames, strap and nail wood sheathing, and install wood staircases and Sheetrock walls, he said.
Dixon put in the time, and he’s now close to completing this difficult task. And in regards to those permits Dixon needed the city’s been helpful with the process, although there was some surprise initially when approached by a home owner who wanted to embark on such a project.
So the city’s building department staff “just openly laughed; they’ve been very helpful with getting this job done” when he inquired about permits for demolishing and rebuilding it on his own, he said.
To say the least that’s great news, and it can also serve as a teaching point for the players Dixon trains. For as difficult as pushing through that extra sprint on the court or extra rep in the weight room can be, imagine how difficult the process of rebuilding a home can be.