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SwedishAmerican Transforms A Neighborhood One House At A Time

SwedishAmerican Hospital works to reverse the decline of a Rockford neighborhood, the one around their hospital---one house at a time.
SwedishAmerican Hospital works to reverse the decline of a Rockford neighborhood, the one around their hospital---one house at a time.

It’s one of the greenest homes in Rockford, and it is an effort by SwedishAmerican Hospital to improve the community which surrounds it. They held a special ribbon cutting ceremony for it as a part of their Founder’s Day celebration.

"When we were presented with an opportunity to work with our sister community in Sweden, and the student exchanges began, our
relationship with East  High School...the neat thing about it is how it blossomed,” recalls Dr. Bill Gorski, CEO of the SwedishAmerican Foundation.

The home they unveiled was built by both Swedish and American students, with the support of the SwedishAmerican Foundation. It is 1800 square feet, has three bedrooms, and two bathrooms. It took them three years to build it, but the students’ instructors say their hard work will make life easier for the person who buys it.

"The one who buys this house will save a lot of money compared to others in this same district," adds Picke Gohansson, a high school construction instructor from Sweden.

The district where the house is located has struggled, along with other Rockford neighborhoods. But, officials hope its low cost and cost saving features will lure buyers back.

"It's also got an in-floor radiant heat system. So, your feet are warm, so you can turn the thermostat down," adds Matt Walling, a construction teacher at East High School.

The walls comprise another key detail about this home. Typically, walls in homes built in this region aren’t very thick, but walls in this house allow for a lot more insulation.

"We stepped it up even more. We've still got the thicker wall cavity, but we also added some boards on the outside here which allowed us to put more insulation," Walling states.
 
Features like that put this home on the cutting edge of what it means to be green—while improving the neighborhood.

"We consider it really important to demonstrate our community citizenship through efforts like this. We’re not just healthcare providers, we’re citizens. And, this is a great way to demonstrate that," Dr. Gorksi affirms.

The home is for sale, and they’re hoping it won’t be on the market for very long. It’s located at 1301 Benton Street in Rockford, and the price is $75,000.





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