Extreme Makeover: Home Edition - Update

January 9, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A Central Fresno family is getting a dream home in just days thanks to Ty Pennington, the crew of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and local builders and volunteers.Thursday morning, Pennington yelled out his trademark: "Good morning Riojas family" outside their home on Robinson Avenue in Central Fresno near Palm and Dakota Avenue.

The sun hasn't come up yet, but you wouldn't know it out here. That's because this neighborhood is lit up like a Hollywood studio, and will be 24/7 for the next week until the big reveal.

Thursday, the Riojas family was sent to Colorado for a ski trip while the crew from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and some of the 4,000 volunteers started moving everything out of the house.

Mary Ann Riojas was born no legs and only half of her right arm, but that has never been an obstacle for this mother of 4 who works for the local housing authority.

Her home is not built for her physical challenges so she relies on her kids to help her. But Extreme Makeover: Home Edition wants to make her home life a lot easier and safer for Riojas.

"When I heard that so many were volunteering per hour and 4,000 were volunteering and they were giving some other things to do I was totally speechless," said Mary Ann Riojas.

The new home will be completely accessible to Riojas with lower counters, a new bathtub and fixtures. The neighborhood is also getting a temporary makeover. The city has closed off 11 streets for the project and the crew will cover lawns with enough bleacher seats for 4,000 people to watch the transformation first hand.

Producers offered hotel rooms to neighbors inconvenienced by the massive project, but not many people are complaining.

Here's the home makeover schedule:

Friday: Production and construction crews will be setting up the home site.

Saturday: Home demolition takes place.

Sunday: Construction Begins and that's when the public is encouraged to come out and watch firsthand this amazing transformation.

Monday & Tuesday: Construction Continues

Wednesday: Furniture move-in day.

Thursday: The new home is revealed to the family.

If you want to visit the site, the only way to get into the spectator area is to park for free at the Fresno convention center parking lot at "O" and Inyo streets downtown.

A free shuttle will take visitors to and from the site Sunday through Thursday, from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Don't forget to bring a can of food for the Community Food Bank!

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