"We started building our dream house!"
The Smith family moved from Winona, MN, to their house on 6th Street at the end of October. They've gotten a chance to settle in and look forward to meeting more neighbors.
"There are so many friendly neighbors here and people who really look out for us," said Courtney, an IT specialist at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. "One neighbor told me she has lived in her grandmother's home for 47 years. She brought us banana bread when we moved in. That was so sweet!"
"Sometimes I have to take our rambunctious dogs out in the middle of the night," said Joe, a registered nurse at Gundersen Health System nearby. "I have to say, I have never come across anything suspicious even at that time of night. It's pretty quiet round here."
Courtney is a native of White Bear Lake, MN and Joe is from Fountain City, WI. Daughter Addison is 8, and daughter Olivia is 5. The girls are enrolled at State Road Elementary.
Son Bentley turns two in February and baby Paxton was born in June. Both Bentley and Paxton are hemophiliacs. They have a blood disorder which prevents their blood from clotting with an injury. Because of this, it was important for the Smiths to be close to a hospital.
Local contractor Spies Construction acquired and demo'ed these condemned homes within the last year. The Smiths' new home is in the center of two new structures. The third home will be to the south of their home and is scheduled to be complete in April 2019.
"When we were in Winona, we would either have to go to Rochester or La Crosse if one of our boys got hurt. We are so relieved to be close to the hospital now. It was also a very long commute for Joe and I since our jobs were here," explained Courtney.
The Smith kids are a very lively bunch with lots of smiles. In their new Promise home, they each have their own room which is so nice to have room to grow.
We wanted a new house and we lucked out that we could build a new one close to my work," said Joe. "We looked around and there was nothing that really suited us. We wanted to be close to school, daycare and to the hospital in case of an emergency with our sons."
"We did visit a new home on 16th Street last year that was built by Spies Construction," said Courtney.
"The house had sold, but Delores Spies told us about the Promise program and we started planning our dream house. They were so easy to work with."
The family is excited about the scholarship finds for their children. Joe also may use a portion for a Nurse Practitioner program.
"We've been talking a lot abo
ut how we are going to use the La Crosse Promise scholarship," said Joe. "It's all pretty exciting that we have this opportunity and a brand new home for our family."