Tiffany Dias

A Cal Poly graduate appeared on ABC’s “Extreme Home Makeover” as the featured architect Sunday, according to a news release.

Chris Kelly, who graduated from the College of Architecture and Environmental Design in 1999, designed a home for the Tom family. Kelly’s employers, The KTGY Group, enlisted Kelly for the Tom family renovation and worked with the project’s builders, John Lang Homes.

The new house stands three stories high and includes an elevator for several of the Tom children, who have physical disabilities. Kelly knew this was a “once in a lifetime experience” to design a custom-built home for a family that otherwise could not have afforded one.

“This was about helping a family in need. Market designed homes would not cut it for the Tom family,” Kelly said. “These girls have dreams and aspirations and just wanted to live like their peers; and this home will help them do that.”

Kelly was forced to design under a short time allotment; the demolition of the old home and the creation of their new place had to be successfully completed in only 100 hours. John Lang Homes even created an hourly program to make sure the crew stayed on time.

“We were on a schedule from the moment we (demolished) the house to the time when the keys hit the Tom family’s hands,” Kelly explained.

Kelly’s main task was to oversee he laying of the special fast-drying foundation for the house at 5 a.m. The foundation had to be poured perfectly in order to complete the framework and project on schedule.

Since the project was under a time crunch, the crew and volunteers were expected to complete their work much faster than it would normally take to build a house.

“For every hour we worked, it counted for one day in the field,” Kelly added.

College of Architecture and Environmental Design associate dean K. Richard Zwelfel, expressed his excitement for Kelly and for the KTGY Group.

“While I was unable to work with him directly, Chris was always a good student,” Zwelfel said. “It’s fantastic, the firm does incredible work and Chris’ work has always been first rate.”

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