Five roofers could be heard banging on the rooftop of Trinity Preschool in Merrill throughout the week, as they work to give them a brand new roof free of charge.
"We had to tear the whole roof off, tear all of the siding off so that we could flash everything correctly and now we're putting the shingles back up," said Ryan Ott, owner of Ryan Ott Development and Construction.
The preschool is the winner of the company's free roof giveaway, voted on by Lincoln County fair-goers. Twenty-seven families and non-profits wrote letters to Ott describing why they need a new roof. He then narrowed the group down to nine and let the people decide.
"Oh my gosh! We are so blessed," said Trinity Preschool Principal and Director Kathy Yahr. "It was just so exciting when Ryan called me and told me. I knew we were getting lots of votes. I was going to the fair everyday and people were saying 'I voted for you! I voted for you!' and then when he called we were all just so excited. Our whole congregation is celebrating."
The school was in rough shape.
"We had all kinds of problems, there were actually shingles that were loose, there was a lot of mold an mildue on the top of it, it was just an old decreped roof that was in much need of replacement," she said.
Ott donated their labor and ABC Supply and Atlas Shingles both provided the building materials. Ott said he wanted to help someone in need.
"I thought it would be a good way to give back to the community," he said. "There's a lot of people that need a new roof and it's an expense that can be pretty hard to come up with."
"It's been on our trustee's list of projects that need to be done for probably 5 years at least," said Yahr. "We're kind of in a place where if something is an immediate need, if a window is broken, we replace that. I don't know how long it would have been before it would have really happened. It might have been another five years and then we probably would have had more damage to the building."
It came just in time for the school year too, with a new crop of students coming in on Tuesday.
"I don't think the children when you're three and four don't really realize how important a roof is, but the parents are delighted about it and excited," Yahr said.
The congregation was so moved by the gesture, they plan to raise money to provide a new roof for another one of those families in need. Ott said the Trinity's new roof should be completed by Thursday.
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