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Nonprofit groups salvage materials from Genesis homes

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Volunteers from three Quad-City nonprofit groups are salvaging materials such as light fixtures, bath vanities and oak trim from nine houses being demolished for the expansion of the Genesis Medical Center-East Rusholme Street campus in Davenport.

Eight houses already have been "harvested," and on Tuesday, Jack Haberman of the Gateway Redevelopment Group in Davenport's historic Gold Coast neighborhood walked through the ninth home on Esplanade Avenue, looking for oak trim.  

The wood will be resold in the group's Architectural Rescue Shop that raises money for neighborhood projects by salvaging, accepting and selling vintage items.

Diane Schreiner of Habitat ReStore, a nonprofit Davenport business that sells new or gently used building materials to raise money for Habitat for Humanity, was there, too, looking for modern utilitarian items such as metal window wells or vinyl replacement windows.

Among the items ReStore has reclaimed from the houses are toilets, a utility sink, doors and hardware, she said.

Sharon Andresen of the Forest Grove School Preservation group joined the other two organizations, looking for pine flooring or old, wavy glass that might be used in the restoration of the one-room school on Forest Grove Drive in Bettendorf.

The nine homes were built in the early 1900s, said Chris VonHolten, the property manager for Genesis Health System.

When trees surrounding the homes are removed, they will be chopped into mulch, he added.

ReStore and the Gateway group have undertaken numerous such harvesting projects through the years, including homes taken down by St. Ambrose University and Palmer College of Chiropractic, both in Davenport, and the former Villa de Chantal and Audubon Elementary School properties in Rock Island.

The $138.5 million expansion and renovation of Genesis Medical Center-East Rusholme Street began in June and has been dubbed the biggest construction project in Davenport history. It will add a new emergency department and 12 operating suites in a seven-story tower at the East Rusholme campus. The project began in June, and construction is to be spread over a four-year period.  


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