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Volunteers help Discovery Museum and Habitat for Humanity

Home Depot volunteers Bill Baitinger, left, and Roger Squires remove a light fixture at the future site of the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum on Cork Street in Winchester on Thursday. Sally Voth/Daily

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By Sally Voth

Cold temperatures and a little snow weren't enough to keep volunteers from "deconstructing" the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum's future home on Friday.

Volunteers with The Home Depot's TEAM Depot spent hours pulling out light fixtures, outlets, doors, switch plates, sinks, toilets, boards and more at 19 W. Cork St.

The items will then be sold at Habitat for Humanity's hardware store, ReStore, at 1944 Abrams Creek Drive.

The museum announced last spring that it was staying downtown by moving into the 14,000-square-foot former Schewel Furniture building. The museum's current home on the Loudoun Street Pedestrian Mall will stay open until about a month before the new site opens, Executive Director Mary Braun said Thursday.

Thursday's deconstruction work will be followed by demolition and hazardous-materials removal and then construction, she said. She said all the interior walls would come down, as well as the drop ceiling.

"If all goes well, we will also have a green roof and observation deck area," Braun said. "We're hoping to be ready a year out. It really depends on the roof."

She said it's hoped construction will start in March or April and be done nine to 13 months later. It will include the creation of two classrooms.

"This gives us almost three times more exhibition and education space," Braun said of the three-story building. "It's really transformational for the museum."

ReStore material coordinator Adam Glogau said the crew was removing any items that could be reused or recycled at the store.

"Got three absolutely awesome ceiling fans out of this room," he said.

Glogau said they even managed to salvage a hot water heater. The money ReStore makes goes to support Habitat for Humanity.

Braun said Discovery Museum officials had been wondering how it was going to start renovating the building, and met with Glogau.

About a month earlier, TEAM Depot had approached Glogau, according to Scott Thompson, operations manager for The Home Depot's stocking distribution center.

"[We said,] 'We're a team readily available and we're here to donate our time,'" Thompson said.

Braun said the museum was originally built by the community.

"And, now to have this new museum deconstructed by the community, it's just like this beautiful circle," she said.

Carol Ismer, human resources manager for The Home Depot in Winchester said the store would match the hours donated by volunteers with dollars it can then donate to charity.

Thompson said about 15 Home Depot workers were volunteering their time on Thursday.

"Probably three-fourths of them worked night shift last night, probably till 12:30," he noted. "If any other nonprofits in the area have projects or something they wanted TEAM Depot to participate [in], they can reach out to me or Carol or Adam."

Thompson can be reached at 540 868-9323, ext. 2020, or scott_s_thompson@homedepot.com.

Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or svoth@nvdaily.com

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