- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 29, 2016

BEATRICE, Neb. (AP) - An empty lot in east Beatrice will soon be the site of a new home built by Nebraska inmates.

The Beatrice Daily Sun (https://bit.ly/1RxqqS7 ) reports that officials from the city, the Nebraska Department of Corrections and the nonprofit Prairie Gold Homes held a ground breaking ceremony Monday afternoon on the site where inmates at Community Corrections Center in Lincoln will build a new home.

The house will be about 1,200 square feet and include three bedrooms, a two-stall garage and a full, but unfinished, basement.

Mayor Stan Wirth says the price of the home hasn’t been set, but that it’ll be affordable. The city hopes to have the house pre-sold before completion.

Prairie Gold Homes’ executive director Renee Bauer says the home is set to be finished by Thanksgiving.

“It’s a little slower of a timeline because this is a learning experience for the crew,” Bauer said.

Other speakers at the ceremony shared their thoughts about the Prairie Gold Homes program’s ability to train inmates in construction, which could lead them to a job in the field.

“We hope that, in this short period, we can make a difference in their lives and that they can go on to be successful,” said Byron Fischer, president of Prairie Gold Homes’ board of directors.

Inmates and crew member Ty Sullivan said the program is well-known and accredited within the corrections facility.

“This allows me to do things I’ve never done before and to better expand my abilities,” Sullivan said.

Bauer said R.L. Tiemann Construction will start digging the foundation for the home on Wednesday.

“After that, if we don’t get a lot of rain, things will move very quickly,” Bauer said. “We want a quality built home when we’re done and we want to train the guys how to build it the right way.”

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Information from: Beatrice Sun, https://www.beatricedailysun.com

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