News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Santiam coalition rebuilds one shed at a time

Reporter for The Canyon Weekly

By James Day

An innovative Santiam Canyon wildfire relief effort is about to start its second year.

The Santiam Rebuild Coalition began its work aimed at constructing 250 sheds last Feb. 6 and is well on its way to completing the goal. The coalition already has received more than 225 requests for the sheds.

Juli Foscoli, local vice-president of the National Association of Women in Construction, said “Feb. 6th (2021) was the first day we gathered to build sheds. White Oak Construction and South Town Glass donated the materials and we built two sheds.”

Since then the group has built and set 51 sheds.

“Our progress was great last year, but we had to take a break to find funding, more volunteers, and to reassess the need,” said Foscoli, accounts manager at Southtown Glass in Salem.

Foscoli said that shed recipients run “from Detroit to Lyons and all the places in between.”

Most families use them to store tools, canned foods, and many times a full size refrigerator or freezer, said Foscoli, who noted that for a family involved in a home rebuilding project “using an RV fridge is not ideal since the space is so tiny you have to make frequent trips to the grocery store which really adds up.”

Some families, project officials say, have even used the sheds as “tiny home” shelters.

A basic shed measures 8 feet by 10 feet and is all wood, with one locking door. Materials cost $1,495 and it takes to 15 to 20 volunteers a total of 80 to 200 hours to build one.

The build consists of a three-step process: stage and assemble the sections; load and deliver to the family; and assemble and finish on site. To date 231 individual volunteers have contributed more than 4,000 volunteer hours.

Key partners and contributors to the project include South Town Glass, Blazer Industries,  White Oak Construction, Parker Smith & Feek, Associated General Contractors (AGC), Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 584, Chemeketa Community College, the Career Technical and Education Center (CTEC) and the National Association of Women in Construction. 

Foscoli also singled out the Mehama Community Church family “for all their hard work and for making this happen” as well as Blazer Industries owner Marv Shetler “for allowing the use of his warehouse to work in and for his tireless donation of time, labor, and his expertise to make the shed builds a streamlined process.”

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