Thunder Valley home construction rolling along

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THUNDER VALLEY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Thunder Valley is on a roll. The first seven homes the pioneering Pine Ridge organization is building are moving right along since the first foundation was poured in October.

"I can see the light at the end of the tunnel right now," said Construction Trainer Lenny Lone Hill, who says his work crews are just about ready to start dry walling.

"The electricians have been in here and they're almost done with everything they have to do," he said. "The landscapers are almost done. It's just the siding left and then it's all interior work. As soon as it gets cold we're moving inside."

Thunder Valley's mission is to construct a sustainable community that creates jobs and opportunity, builds homes and self-reliance. And while the construction progress is great, the Thunder Valley folks are keeping their eyes on the bigger picture.

"The construction progress has been immense," said Thunder Valley Executive Director Nick Tilsen. "But really it's about building community. And that's the part that we're being able to see. It's a physical manifestation of what building community looks like and transforming community."

Five of the first seven homes have already been purchased and three families are helping build their own homes. It's that ground up engagement and commitment that makes Thunder Valley unique.

"A lot of the purchasers out there of the homes are young families so that makes me really excited because they are giving it a chance," said Thunder Valley Homeowership Program Manager Star Means. "They believe in themselves enough to purchase a home at such a young age."

Thunder Valley hopes to have the first families move in this Spring and then start in on construction of 14 more planned homes.