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New Habitat for Humanity location to open March 1

An entire class of Ridgewater College electrician students gain experience by working Wednesday on rewiring light fixtures at the new center for Habitat For Humanity at the former Goodwill building in Willmar.

WILLMAR — Habitat for Humanity of West Central Minnesota will move its ReStore and office operations in February from the current location in downtown Willmar to a new location on First Street where renovations are under way.

Habitat has purchased the building at 2424 First St. S. that formerly housed the Goodwill store and will be relocating there.

According to a news release, planned interior renovations include creating more office space; a Habitat construction tool and supply room; and renovated sales floor space for the new ReStore. A portion of the exterior was painted this fall. The remainder will be painted in the spring when weather permits. Permanent exterior signage will be installed later this month.

The move will take place during the middle-to-end of February.

Joline Hovland, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of West Central Minnesota, said in the news release that Habitat has outgrown its downtown space, and a task force was formed to create a feasibility study and business plan for a long-term solution. The purchase of the new building and its renovations were the culmination of the task force’s findings, said Hovland.

Habitat bought the building from Quad Partnership of St. Cloud. The current site at 619 Benson Ave. S.W. is for sale and is listed by Fenstra Real Estate of Willmar.

The mission of ReStore is to provide a place for people to donate unwanted, but usable home furnishings and building materials to be sold. Proceeds fund the Habitat mission to build and renovate houses.

The new ReStore location will open to the public March 1. Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce will hold an “After Hours’’ event Feb. 27. A preview opening will be Feb. 28, and tickets will be sold for that event.

An open house for potential volunteers will be Jan. 7 at the new site, and tours are available upon request.

Hovland said volunteers are saving Habitat tens of thousands of dollars in renovation costs.

Fourteen veteran Habitat construction volunteers are assisting with renovations. The project co-site supervisors are Keith Wassmund and Ken Kruger. Also assisting are Ridgewater College electrician students, Willmar High School Youth Build students directed by Steve Michaels, and Willmar Electric. Several other volunteers will also be assisting.

ReStore Director Kerrie Wig is leading an effort to acquire donations for the new store. Donations of all sorts are pouring in from individuals and businesses, said Hovland.

A capital campaign to raise approximately $550,000 has been formed to pay for renovations and an operating reserve fund, and to raise funds to continue the mission of building and renovating homes in the five-county area.

This year Ridgewater College carpentry and electrician students are building in Vos Park in Willmar and completing a recycled home in Montevideo.

“Next year we intend to build a home in Willmar and Litchfield,’’ said Hovland. “Plans also include funds towards our home exterior improvement program, ‘A Brush with Kindness.’”

Public and businesses are welcome to donate. Call 320-235-9500 or visit

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150