Thursday, January 14, 2010 12:00 AM

Construction of Terry's House begins

A work crew from Dave Christian Construction, Inc. began excavating the site of Terry’s House on Thursday, Jan. 14. Terry’s House, a full-service lodging facility for loved ones of those receiving critical care at Community Regional Medical Center, will be located on the corner of Fresno and “R” streets in downtown Fresno.

Jim Christian, co-chair of the Terry’s House Development Council and his six-man team, along with motor graders and sheep foot compactors, started the process by excavating three feet of the existing ground and testing the soil for contaminants, old septic tanks and debris.

“We need to do this to ensure that we have proper compaction under footings, largely due to previous structures built within the last 100 years,” Christian said.

They will analyze the soil, put it back and import another foot and a half of earth fill to raise the foundation of the home.

“I’m so happy to get started on this project,” Christian said.

The excavation process alone, worth $30,000, is a gift from Dave Christian, Inc. The company has donated all of its labor and equipment to get the house started.

“It’s difficult for the nurses and physicians caring for these patients to watch these families struggle with the medical issues and decisions and still have to worry about where to sleep, where to eat, etc,”  said Lynn Bennink, trauma program director for Community Regional.

Terry’s House will be a 17,000 square-foot, two-story home with 20 guest rooms and will be within walking distance of the main entrance to Community Regional in downtown Fresno.

“We care for patients from all over the Valley and beyond,” said Bennink. “Terry’s House will provide us the ability to care for the families as well. Currently these families are sleeping by the bedside, in a small waiting room, their cars and staying in expensive hotels.” 

Terry’s House is dependent upon private support from the public. While enough funds have been raised to construct the house, the fundraising campaign continues as Community seeks ongoing support for furnishings, operations and families who otherwise cannot afford to stay. Once construction begins, Terry’s House will open its doors for patients’ families within a year. 

For more information about Terry’s House and how to give, logon to

This story was reported by Rebecca Wass. She can be reached at