Extremely Meaningful

Another Hubbell Extreme Build provides exponential results.

If it hadn’t been for ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, central Iowa’s nonprofit organizations wouldn’t be where they are today. That’s when Hubbell Homes got really involved.

“That first Extreme Makeover project with Ty Pennington back in 2006 was a great experience, but the property was nearly 90 miles away,” says Hubbell CEO Rick Tollakson. “Everyone involved in that was so proud of what we were able to do, we wanted to find a way to do something like that to benefit our local community.”

Since then, Hubbell has completed its own version of an extreme build about every four years: 9 Homes in 9 Days for 9 Families with Anawim Housing in 2009, Cabins for Campers at Easterseals Iowa in 2013, a brand-new Ronald McDonald House of Central Iowa in 2017, and now a new child development center at Camp Sunnyside.

“Rick asked me what was on my bucket list for the camp,” says Sherri Nielsen of Easterseals, “and I told him our Child Development Center was consistently maxed out. We were hoping for a 5,000-square-foot facility that could serve more than 60 children at a time—our current capacity—and still have space for some of the other services we need to provide.”

Tollakson would not settle for the basic necessities. “I’m famous for making things work with the bare minimum required,” Nielsen says. “But Rick kept asking what we really needed.”

By the time Tollakson and his people were done asking questions and working on plans, Easterseals was the recipient of much more than a basic building. “They designed a 13,000-square-foot building that doubles the number of children we can serve at one time,” Nielsen says. “And that made it possible for us to take the current facility and turn it into a space for our program supporting children and families in crisis.”

This year’s extreme build, which Tollakson expects to be his last as Hubbell CEO, kicked off on Friday, September 10, with ribbon cutting for the new Center on September 21. Between the 10th and the 21st, 72 organizations donated time, funds, and labor to complete the state-of-the-art facility. More than 200 volunteers were on hand to provide cleanup and other assistance as needed.

In addition, crews from McAninch Corporation prepared the site well in advance. “We’ve been working on the extreme builds with Hubbell since the ABC project,” says Doug McAninch. “Hubbell brought us in early on this one to do the behind-the-scenes work ahead of time, things like permits, grading, etc.”

During the weeklong build, McAninch’s team was on hand to deal with any issues that might arise, including providing fuel for all the machinery and completing sidewalk grading and sod grading. “I was out there for the kickoff,” McAninch says, “and by the next day they’d made so much progress the entire exterior was pretty much done.”

Like all the contractors and volunteers who partner with Hubbell on these builds, McAninch and his crew are proud to be involved. “McAninch has a multigenerational relationship with Hubbell that goes back more than 40 years. We continue to be in awe of what they do with these extreme builds,” he says.

“We learned early on that our industry is very generous,” Tollakson says. “When called upon, they’re eager to get on board, almost before we can finish asking. It ends up being a team-building opportunity for them, and they don’t have to commit a ton of time.”

As Tollakson describes it, these projects aren’t the most cost-effective way to build, but they’re very time-efficient once the project is actually under way. Planning for the Easterseals Child Development Center began more than two years ago, which may have alleviated potential supply chain problems.

“Because we complete the design and start working with our suppliers so far in advance, we had plenty of time to get everything here and stored ahead of time,” says Tollakson. “The only item that was delayed slightly was something we added on late. We’re putting in a playground, too, and that’s arriving just as we finish the build.”

Tollakson is planning to retire before long, and the company has already selected his replacement. “Giving back is part of who we are as a company,” he says. “The next CEO may have something else in mind instead of extreme builds, and he’ll make his own mark. But Hubbell will always be involved in community projects.”

Nielsen says, “Rick says I ask too small. He always thinks bigger and better. We couldn’t do half as much as we do without Hubbell and all the people who work on these builds. It just goes to show what you can accomplish when a community pulls together.”

Participating Vendors

  • A Kings Throne
  • Accoustic
  • Acme
  • AJ Gallagher
  • Al Carey Landscaping
  • All Star Concrete
  • Allender Butzke
  • Alliance
  • Allied
  • Aluminum Distrubtors
  • Aposto
  • Artistic Ironworks
  • ASM
  • Beisser Lumber
  • CapTrust Advisors (sponsor)
  • Catering DSM
  • Centurion Stone
  • Chocolate Storybook
  • Civil Design Advantage
  • CK Fairco
  • CKF
  • Clark
  • Commerce Bank
  • Community Business Lenders Service Company
  • Cook Plumbing
  • Currie Engineering Associates
  • Custom Installations- Ultravue
  • Cyd’s Catering
  • Des Moines AM Rotary Club
  • Diam
  • DSM Steel Fence
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • EggKing
  • Electronic Engineering
  • Elite
  • Famous Dave’s
  • Fareway
  • First Realty Cares
  • Fleck
  • FTP
  • Gateway Market
  • Golden Valley Supply
  • Great Caterers of Iowa
  • Great Southern Bank
  • Great Western Bank
  • Green Tech
  • Guns N Hoses
  • Heartland Door
  • Heartland Window
  • Heideman Drywall
  • Heritage
  • Hessen Haus
  • Howser Concrete
  • Hy-Vee Ankeny/Prairie Trail
  • IHOP
  • Iowa Total Care (sponsor)
  • ITA Group Foundation
  • James Hardie
  • Jimmy John’s
  • Johnny’s Hall of Fame
  • Jordison
  • KCP
  • Kinzler Construction Services
  • Kline Electric
  • Kohler
  • Krause Foundation
  • Krispy Creme
  • La Mie
  • Lakeshore Learning
  • Larry’s Building Services
  • Lohse Family Foundation
  • Lowry
  • Lumbermans Drywall and Roofing Supply/Certainteed
  • LWBJ
  • McAninch Corp.
  • McClure Engineering
  • McDonald’s
  • Moehl Millwork
  • Newton
  • Norwalk Ready Mix
  • Nyemaster
  • O’Halloran Family Foundation
  • Olive Garden
  • On the Border
  • Paragon IT (sponsor)
  • Parking Lot Specialities
  • PDM PreCast
  • PerMar
  • Petticord
  • Polk County
  • Raker Rhodes Engineering
  • Robert Half (sponsor)
  • Rosales Masonry
  • Rowdy
  • SCS
  • Shazam
  • Sherwin Williams
  • Sierra Pacific
  • Signarama
  • Starbucks
  • State of Iowa
  • Summit
  • SVPA Architects, Inc.
  • Taco Johns
  • Tesdell Electric
  • The Building Consultant
  • TKBC
  • Toyota of Des Moines
  • Triplett (sponsor)
  • TruTeam
  • Variety – The Children’s Charity
  • Viking
  • Vision Bank
  • Weinhardt Law Firm
  • Weise/DM Wall
  • Wolf
  • Wyckoff