When staff at Quad-City Arts asked Estes Construction to build and donate a playhouse to be auctioned at Festival of Trees, the Davenport company readily agreed, then used the project as a team-building opportunity.
Working evenings in a warehouse in Mount Joy, a crew of about a dozen project engineers, superintendents and apprentices finished the house in a matter of days, Clint Hoeger, general superintendent for Estes, said.
"It was a really good experience," he said.
The house they made measures 8 feet by 10 feet and stands 10 feet, 6 inches high at its peak. The inside clearance is about 5 feet, 5 inches.
The roof is built with trusses, just like a real house, with soffits under the roof eaves. Outside, it is shingled, covered with gray vinyl siding, has four windows on the main floor, a decorative dormer with a window on the roof and a front porch railing.
The inside is unfinished, to be completed however the buyer wants.
The design, called Grandma's Playhouse, was created by Better Homes & Gardens.
The house will be live-auctioned at the festival's Premiere Party on Friday. The minimum bid will be $3,000, Karie Gelles, marketing and development director for Quad-City Arts, said.
The party is the official opening of the festival that continues through Sunday, Nov. 27.
Other items that will be auctioned by Bettendorf City Administrator Decker Ploehn are:
• A private piano session with Grammy Award winner Laurence Hobgood. He is described as a contemporary jazz piano virtuoso, composer, arranger, producer, lyricist and educator.
• A cocktail party for 25 people at Necker's Jewelers, Bettendorf. A $500 gift certificate also is included.
• Dinner and cocktails aboard a yacht on the Mississippi River.
Party-goers also will be invited to purchase an ornament off the "gift tree" for $20. Each ornament will correspond to a box under the tree. Each box will contain a gift, generally certificates for meals or lodging stays ranging in value from $25 to $100. Each also will contain a $25 gift card to Necker's Jewelers and an opportunity to win a $1,000 gift card to Necker's.