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PROFILE: Supervisor Of Van Wormer Project Is A Dedicated Volunteer With The UC/Habitat Partnership

During the past two school years, Dewy Enderle has supervised UC construction during the week and has regularly worked the weekends, supervising the university volunteers building homes with Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity.

Date: 9/5/2005 8:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Dottie Stover
UC ingot
Dewey Enderle in front of the Van Wormer Library
Dewey Enderle in front of the Van Wormer Library

Senior staff engineer and UC alum Dewey Enderle of Greenhills is overseeing the renovation of the oldest standing building on campus – the Van Wormer Library – which was dedicated in 1899 and first opened in the summer of 1901. His past projects include the $3.3 million renovation that converted the old Siddall Dining Hall into MarketPointe at Siddall and the 2003 construction of the College of Applied Science (CAS) classroom building.

Enderle graduated from UC with a bachelor’s of science degree in construction management from CAS in 1996. He joined the construction management branch of the Office of the University Architect in 2000.

Of course, the crowning glory of the $10.7 Van Wormer Library restoration is the spectacular glass dome that can now be spotted in the skyline off campus. “There was one major renovation done to the building in 1930 that took off the original dome because it leaked,” Enderle says.

“The framework of the new dome was erected on the ground and then lifted into place by a crane,” Enderle explains. “As it came together on the ground, we’d get a lot of questions from people wanting to know when we were going to set the dome on top of the building.”

Checking the pillars at Van Wormer

When the full renovation is completed in late 2005, the building will house the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost for Baccalaureate and Graduate Education, Graduate Studies and Institutional Research.

Enderle’s on the inside of the construction fences surrounding the projects that are transforming UC’s campus, yet there are a number of students outside the protective barriers who know who he is and have even hung out with him on the weekends. That’s because Enderle has spent most of his Saturdays supervising the UC volunteers building homes in partnership with Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity.

The Cunningham home
The Cunningham home

The University of Cincinnati has committed to building a home a year with local families that until now, never thought home ownership could be their own dream come true. But that dream became a reality for Sylvia Smith when she moved into her home on 111 Winkler St. in the spring of 2004, and for her sister, Janie Cunningham, who just moved up the street after UC volunteers held a dedication ceremony for her home last spring. From fall to spring, UC volunteers spend their Saturdays at the construction sites. As a volunteer and member of the university-wide steering committee for the UC/Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity projects, Enderle uses his expertise to make sure student volunteers follow safe procedures while guiding the projects to completion.

“I think at first, a lot of students are motivated to get involved with the project because they’re scholarship students fulfilling their commitment to community service, but even after they’ve fulfilled their required hours and obligations, they’ll still come out and volunteer,” Enderle says. “This year, we’re hoping we can also recruit more skilled volunteers. They don’t necessarily have to be carpenters, but maybe they’re used to fixing things around the house.”

Ryan Cowan, a UC student who is majoring in electrical engineering technology, was a UC freshman when he became a regular volunteer at the UC/Habitat construction site last year. Cowan says he has been involved in construction projects for years, so he was one of the skilled volunteers on the project. “I always looked forward to those Saturdays working with Dewey. Sometimes we would joke around about how we hated being so good at what we did at the house, and the other volunteers always got a good laugh out of it.”

Dewey Enderle

“Dewey has been a tremendous asset to the UC/Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity partnership,” says steering committee co-chair Annmarie Thurnquist, director of renovations for UC Construction Management. “Dewey was lead site coordinator last year, and sometimes I thought it was his force of will that built the project. But then, I realized it was Dewey’s ability to understand the volunteers. He always made sure that the people working at the site had fun.”

Construction for the new project this fall will take place on Haven Street, just north of the Cincinnati Zoo. A class of first-year students will get an early jump on the project Sept. 6-10 and Sept. 13-17 as part of an Honors Scholars service-learning English course.

“I got involved because I enjoy the work, not to mention the feeling of satisfaction, knowing you did it because you wanted to help someone out,” Cowan says.

Members of the UC community who are interested in joining the project this fall should contact the UC Center for Community Engagement at 513-556-1559.

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