GAF Mission

"to TEACH inner city youth and/or underprivileged persons to be successful entrepreneurs while revitalizing inner city neighborhoods with a concentration on socially responsible/sustainable business practices"

GAF is the
Western Mass Office for

Masonry Excitement! Closing Old Openings

There are a few openings that we need to close up for how we are going to be using the the building.

First up are the old doors into the parking lot. They are too small for our retail needs and sort of in the wrong spot, so close ‘em up! Next are all of the roll up doors on Warwick Street. We don’t need all of those doors, they don’t work anymore and we need a clean surface to attach our insulated metal panels (much more on that later). Close ‘em up! Inside we wanted to maximize racking and change the flow a little around this opening so we made it smaller.

Selective Deconstruction Because That’s How We Roll

Every aspect of this project is being conducted in a mission consistent way. Our demo crew from American Demo has been deconstructing for reuse and recycling just like we would have done. We have separate dumpsters going for metal, sheetrock and mixed waste to get recycled. Metal gets scrapped back into metal, sheetrock is processed back into new sheetrock and the mixed waste is ground up and used for alternative daily cover at the landfill. Here is a pile of lumber waiting to be denailed and taken back to the store for sale.

We’re Expanding!

Welcome to our ReStore Expansion blog!

The ReStore is expanding to a new space, which will be open in Summer 2011.

This expansion will allow us to double our benefit to the community, economy and environment. That’s twice as many materials kept out of the landfill and put to good use fixing up people’s homes.

Over the next year, we’ll be telling you all about it right here. Stay tuned for regular updates on the project and more info on how we’ll be better able to serve you – our customers and donors – and how you can help!

If you have any questions, or topics you’d like to know more about, just ask us and we’ll include it in future posts.

Our future home – 83 Warwick Street

Warwick Street Inside Pre-Renovation

Our future home as seen from the street

We’d like to introduce you to our future home at 83 Warwick Street, Springfield. It’s just around the corner from our current store. These are a few photos of what it looks like right now.

We just purchased this building a few weeks ago and will be fixing it up (alot!) over the coming year.

It’s four times bigger than our current store, all under one roof, and will have a 40 car parking lot!

Stay tuned for plans and pictures of what it is going to look like when we are done, and updates on our progress.

Groundbreaking Ceremony

Some of the crowd at the Groundbreaking ceremony

Our Groundbreaking ceremony yesterday was spectacular! Over 100 of our supporters and partners were on hand to celebrate the fact that we now own the property at 83 Warwick Street and construction is about to get underway.

The theme for the event was “We are all pieces of the puzzle,” to reflect on how many individual efforts are needed in order to piece together this project.

Instead of holding the traditional golden shovel, honored guests assembled an oversized puzzle. And everybody got a puzzle-themed pin (made from reclaimed trim and recycled paint, of course).

Here is a copy of the program that lists all of our supporters and partners.

Here’s our media release from the event.

You can view some of the great media coverage at these links:

22 News

We’ll post a photo album from the event . . . → Read More: Groundbreaking Ceremony

Building plans

Over the coming months, we’ll share various aspects of the building plans and our construction progress. Two of the biggest improvements everyone will notice are a much larger parking lot outside and wide aisles inside the store.

These plans show the bird’s eye view inside and outside the future store. Click and take a look and imagine yourself cruising around with ease as you find great deals on great home improvement materials! You’ll also see that we are adding some new departments including green building materials and vintage/architectural salvage.

Photos of the Groundbreaking Ceremony

For those of you who missed our Groundbreaking – we’ve posted a photo album of the event on Facebook! Thanks again to everyone for making it such a great event.

Sneak peek at the look of the building!

We are still finalizing the plans for this, but I wanted to give you a sneak peek of the exciting look of the outside of the building!

As you know, thanks to a grant from the MA DOER and our many in-kind and financial donors, we are going to make extensive energy efficiency improvements to make this a high performance building. This will help us lower our environmental impact, reduce operating costs, and allow us to demonstrate these types of improvements to others. And the work itself will create some much needed construction jobs.

ReStore Exterior Design

Our design team concluded that the best way to insulate the walls of the building was to attach Insulated Metal Panels (IMPs) to the exterior. Given the current bland, non-historic and mixed materials look of the building, we felt comfortable that this strategy would also make the building look a lot . . . → Read More: Sneak peek at the look of the building!

It has begun!

Today site work began at 83 Warwick! John and Red from Northern Tree came with their amazing feller buncher and cleared the property of some serious overgrowth. They left some select trees standing (see the master plan) and saved the black locust to be milled into the parapet on the top of the new exterior. Check out a slide show of the rear of the building getting cleared.

Landscaping Day Two

More amazing machinery and talented operators on the job today. They are recovering some awesome locust trees that will be milled into lumber for our new parapet. Check out the slide show to see the changes around the building (as in: now you can see the building) and how it is being accomplished. Now we can get to the walls to install our super insulated metal panels that will transform the performance and look of the building. Next up is transforming the overgrown, disintegrating parking lot into one with drainage that will meet USGBC LEED standards. We know our customers and donors will also enjoy the ample amount of parking spaces and the easy access to the store.