Volunteers and friends visited the new home and Sara Bowser and her family Saturday for the Habitat for Humanity dedication ceremony. 

IUP’s Habitat for Humanity joined other volunteers Saturday in dedicating a house in Kittanning they had worked on for about a year to its new family.

Sara Bowser and her children, Haley and Gavin, opened their half-moved-into house to neighbors, volunteers, family members, friends and local Habitat for Humanity members to show off the finished product.

Tom Harley, president of UpStreet Architects designed the building.

The insulation was comprised of recycled paper, and the windows in the living room were designed to keep the room cool in the summer and warm in the winter, he said.

Harley based his design on the Passive House criteria, which is a standard set to increase energy efficiency in buildings, and he said he appreciates the extra effort by the builders to make it a reality.

“It’s an amazing effort for the community to build a building like this,” Harley said. 

The dedication began with a few words by Armstrong Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Michael McElhaney in the newly built efficient room. 

He thanked the volunteers that assisted with the build.

A group of 150 high school students from WoodsWork missions team from Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church in Severna Park, Md., worked on two different houses in the area.

Also, campus Habitat for Humanity chapters from IUP and the University of Pittsburgh volunteered their efforts.

“IUP kind of adopted this house,” McElhaney said. “The college volunteers were the driving force for us.”

The dedication continued with Andrew Laddusaw, president of Armstrong Habitat and pastor of Living Water Church in Kittanning, said a few verses from the Bible and blessed the house.

Then he handed Sara the keys to the house, along with a Bible signed by each person who came to the event. 

“I want to thank everybody for what they put in,” Sara said.

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