Campus News

UK Partners With Habitat, PNC on Big Blue Build for Lexington Family

photo showing: Left to Right: Eric Monday, executive vice president for Finance & Administration, UK President Eli Capilouto, Peter Carew, Lexington Habitat for Humanity Director of Construction
photo of President Capilouto sawing wood

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 30, 2018) – On Friday, Aug. 24, Antoinette Screetch came one step closer to her dream of home ownership when volunteers from Lexington Habitat for Humanity were joined by University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto and John Gohmann, PNC Bank regional president for Lexington, at Screetch’s build site, 1823 Russell Cave Road in Lexington. Employees from UK, PNC Bank and Turner Construction also participated.

This house-building project is known as "Big Blue Build."  It began in February when former UK Wildcat basketball player Jack "Goose" Givens hosted a fundraiser as a way of giving back to the community that supported the 1978 UK Men's Championship Basketball Team, of which he was a member.  Funds raised from the event, along with contributions from PNC Bank, Smith and Nephew, and The Pat Smith Habitat for Humanity for Endowment Fund were used to sponsor the Habitat home.

Construction of the house that Screetch will purchase later this year began in mid-August. Last Friday’s volunteers from UK, PNC Bank and Turner Construction, led by Capilouto and Gohmann, worked on exterior and interior framing of the house.

“It was great to have Dr. Capilouto and Mr. Gohmann working on the Big Blue Build," said Rachel Childress, Lexington Habitat for Humanity CEO. "It is a testament to their commitment to our community and a reflection of their understanding that to be a strong community, we need quality, affordable housing. We are grateful for their leadership.”

“The University of Kentucky is intimately committed to community; on our campus and beyond. Lexington Habitat for Humanity shares that commitment as they build homes and hope throughout Lexington,” Capilouto said. “We’re proud to partner with another community leader, PNC Bank, to take part in the collaborative effort to meet the demand for a decent and affordable place to live.”

In the coming weeks and months, the house will continue to develop in stages until what began as a foundation with walls and a roof, will become a home, signifying a sense of belonging, security and pride in home ownership for the occupants who dwell there.

"Providing access to sustainable, affordable housing for low-income families is one of PNC Bank's key pillars of community support," Gohmann said. "Teaming up with Habitat is an example of how our collective efforts — from funding to volunteer engagement — result in life-changing opportunities for those in need of decent housing."

Screetch, a native of Lexington, is the mother of four children: 4-year-old twins, a 15-year-old and a 19-year-old. She is a full-time home health care worker and a nursing student. Currently a renter, most of Screetch's monthly income goes toward paying to live in a place that does not meet her family's basic needs. The family must climb three flights of stairs to reach their overcrowded apartment where they must share sleeping space. When she first learned about Lexington Habitat for Humanity’s Homeownership Program, she knew it could be a game changer for her and her family.


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