|Jeff Burton, President
High resolution photos available upon request
For more information on the “Rebuilding Chapman”
project, go to
For more information on the builder coalition, go to www.extremebuildflinthills.com
American Dream Dev.
PO Box 1345
Junction City, KS 66441
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AMERICAN DREAM DEVELOPMENT THRUST INTO NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT
AS “EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION” VISITS TOWN HIT BY TORNADO
JUNCTION CITY, Kansas – November 14, 2008 – After a fearsome tornado destroyed dozens of homes in the small community of Chapman, Kan., last June, a med-sized homebuilding company headquartered 15 miles away jumped in to help the town begin to recover.
Now American Dream Development, based in Junction City, will be in the national, prime-time television spotlight as the story of “Rebuilding Chapman” becomes the centerpiece of a two-hour edition of the popular program Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
American Dream is the lead builder in a coalition of contractors assembled to build a new house in just a week for a family whose home was destroyed by the tornado. Crews are working around the clock from November 12, when the Patrick Tutwiler family is sent on a vacation, until November 19, when the Tutwilers return to find their completed home ready for occupancy.
For American Dream founder and president Jeff Burton, the satisfaction of helping a military family in need is paired with the thrill of turning around a project so quickly in the challenging environment of a building site that doubles as a television production stage.
“The lights and cameras are always on, and we’re working like crazy to meet the deadline with little room for error,” Burton said. “This compresses what would normally be several weeks of work into just seven days.”
American Dream’s location and availability were key to pulling off the production in Chapman. The show’s producers initially balked at the job when they visited Chapman in early October, because a key ingredient of the show is that local builders do the actual construction work. Producers feared that there weren’t enough suitable builders around Chapman to do the job.
But Chapman City Attorney Doug Thompson lobbied hard to convince the show’s producers that a coalition of qualified builders could be assembled.
“We were already in downtown Chapman, building three brand new homes and working on one rebuild,” Burton said of American Dream. “So when the call came in for help for the show, we naturally said yes.”
The Extreme Home Makeover project soon expanded to include a “community makeover.” Under Burton’s guidance, the coalition also is rebuilding the community center,creating a new monument as the entryway to the city and repairing other homes. When an elderly woman who lost her home was upset about leaving her garden behind, contractors moved her surviving roses to her new garden.
“We’ve started calling it ‘Extreme Home Makeover: Community Edition,” said Burton, an expert in development and construction in small to mid-sized markets in rural America. As former executive at KB Home, his business model targets the smaller community by leveraging his experience in suburban markets to "bring economies of scale to small-scale economies."
Besides American Dream, other local builders in the coalition working on the “Extreme Makeover” project are A.F.M.C. Construction and Remodeling, Inc. of Salina; Blixt Construction, L.C. of Chapman; Harris Custom Homes LLC of Chapman; and Ponton Construction Inc. of Salina. Hundreds of volunteers and local church groups also are pitching in.
More than 60 homes were devastated in the F4 tornado that struck Chapman June 11. Among those who lost homes was Patrick Tutwiler, an Army Specialist who was serving in Iraq about a year earlier when he was shot in the neck by a sniper. He returned home with traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, memory loss and speech problems.
When the tornado struck, Patrick and his wife Crystal pulled the family into a closet and used their bodies as human shields while the twister tore the house apart.
Patrick, Crystal, their four children and nephew were living on a nearby military base temporarily until Patrick was given his official military discharge. Because of Patrick’s injuries and his current part-time employment, the family could not afford to rebuild or purchase a new home.
"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" airs on ABC on Sunday evenings at 8:00 p.m. The program featuring Chapman will air sometime early in 2009. The show currently ranks among the top fifteen highest rated television shows averaging 17-25 million weekly viewers.
The Chapman project will be a two-hour Special and will be broadcast overseas in 69 countries with a viewing audience of over one billion viewers. For more information, go to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
American Dream Homes
builds attractive homes and communities for a reasonable price that fit the lifestyle of working families. The company is committed to solid, sustainable growth and the integration of residential and commercial development with parks and amenities to create thriving planned communities. American Dream Homes is founded on the principal that that every hard-working family should be able to afford a home and that we can help them realize the American Dream. We strive to be a model of excellence in homebuilding with a commitment to quality, value, teamwork and integrity in everything that we do. We are strongly committed to providing value and service to our homebuyers, and giving back to the communities where we build homes.