Around Osceola
Osceola News-Gazette

Follow Us On:

Give Kids the World getting brand new look

Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 4:47 pm

By Tiffanie Reynolds

Staff Writer

 After 25 years, Give Kids the World Village finally will get a long-awaited makeover.

Led by Wyndham Vacation Ownership, Give Kids the World is temporarily closing down its village and renovating 88 of its original villas in a project called the Extreme Village Makeover.

From Jan.12 to Jan. 24, the villas will have new electrical wiring and plumbing, new countertops, new appliances, carpeting, a fresh coat of paint and new roofing, if needed. Along with Wyndham Vacation Ownership, Give Kids the World is working with several local and out-of-state companies, as well as the city of Kissimmee and 1,400 volunteers for this project.

“When we started taking a look at it, we thought that made a lot of sense. Because, number one, you got cost savings because you’re not ordering paint here, then two months later order more paint. The second thing is you’re not interrupting families. Families won’t be interrupted with all the traffic and trucks,” Mark Hoewing, public relations manager for Give Kids the World said.

There will be a complete redesign of the village’s office building led by the Walt Disney company, ABC and the crew of ABC’s Extreme Makeover. The building was one of the first to be built on property, and will be transformed into a Memory Makers building. It will include volunteer services, a gift store, a chapel and an area where families can come in and record thoughts about their week in the village and theme parks.  Construction for the building began on Dec. 9 and will be finished Jan. 24.

To conclude the project, members of ABC’s Good Morning America will be at Give Kids the World on the morning of Jan. 24. Ty Pennington, the host of ABC’s Extreme Makeover, will reveal the finished Memory Makers building on national television.

For Hoewing, the renovations are a pleasant surprise for Give Kids the World. Originally, the nonprofit group planned to renovate the 88 villas in four or five phases under their Adopt a Villa Program.

The city of Kissimmee also is a large partner in the project, with Director of Public Works and Engineering David Derrick part of the committee for the Extreme Village Makeover. He led in handling all the permitting and inspections for the project, as well as parking plans for volunteers and workers, coordinating deliveries and working with local companies to donate construction materials and supplies for the project. Other departments such as the Building Department, Public Works, Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities and the Kissimmee Police Department also are playing a part in the project.

“Just making sure that everything runs smooth, and traffic flows. It’s not a real big area, so having all these vehicles going through and the enormity of the size of the project, you have to be careful so everyone can get through. Of course, with public safety you have to make sure that nobody gets hurt and the fire and police department has access at all times,” Derrick said.

As older supplies and materials are taken out of the villas, Give Kids the World will give most of it to Habitat for Humanity of Osceola County, while materials that cannot be re-used will be sent to liquidators. All metal will be given to the city.