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Nonprofit recycles old Fredericksburg house

The house at 1504 Winchester St. in Fredericksburg may have reached the end of its life, but parts of it will live on as recycled material to be used in new buildings.

It is being demolished, but not before Second Chance Inc. strips it of everything reusable.

Second Chance Inc. is a nonprofit corporation that deconstructs buildings, salvages usable materials, including wood, doors, windows, ironwork, kitchen appliances and bathroom fixtures, and resells them from its 200,000-square-foot warehouse in Baltimore, Md.

With profits from the sales, Second Chance provides job training in the Baltimore region for individuals with employment obstacles, including those with criminal records.

“Our goal is to get them prepared for the work force,” said Chris O’Brien, a deconstruction program manager.

Barry and Holly Clark purchased 1504 Winchester St. in February with the intention of demolishing the existing house and building a new one on the 10,000-square-foot lot.

Barry, an attorney whose law offices are in Fredericksburg, grew up in the area and was looking to move downtown with his wife and 9-month-old son, Liam, for some time. The family decided to build on Winchester Street.

“We’ve been stuck out in Salem Fields for six years,” Barry said.

With many downtown houses running on the expensive end and open lots hard to come by, the Clarks decided that demolition and building from scratch was the answer.

“It was just a small, little rambler,” Barry said of the house. “It wasn’t nice enough to keep. It wasn’t historic or anything like that.”

The Clarks decided to bring in the crew from Second Chance under the recommendation of their builder, Allen West, president of Westbrooke Homes.

West pointed out the good work the corporation does.

In addition to providing training and jobs for crews, their work reduces the amount of waste going into landfills and allows the property owner to take a tax deduction on the value of the materials being salvaged.

So far this year, Second Chance has put people to work for 110,148 hours, saved consumers $2,349,556, and diverted 8,076,716 pounds of waste from landfills, according to the corporation’s website.

Meanwhile, Westbrooke Homes will construct the Clarks’ two-story bungalow on Winchester Street and expects to complete it by Easter 2014.

“We’re really excited about the location,” Barry said.

Holly, who enjoys running and biking, is particularly looking forward to using the Rappahannock Canal Path, which is just a few feet from the property.

Bridget Balch: 540/374-5417