Pringle House Project is working to rebuild the home of a longtime Harrisonburg resident

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) – After a Harrisonburg man lost his home to a fire in August, the community is hoping to help him build a brand new home.

JP Pringle has called the Northeastern neighborhood of Harrisonburg for decades, but after the summer blaze his home along East Johnson Street was deemed uninhabitable. The community rallied around Pringle to meet his immediate needs, like food, clothing and shelter, but are now going a step further to welcome him home.

A group of friendly city leaders and community members started the Pringle House project. He plans to rebuild a house for JP at the same location along East Johnson Street.

“Our intention is for JP to have a new modest home where he has no mortgage, where he can be comfortable and fits into the community,” said Jim Rankin, organizer of the Pringle House Project. “He can go back to this community. “

The Pringle House project has already raised thousands of dollars. The next step is to obtain a demolition permit and a building permit.

Barry Kelley is another leader of the Pringle House project and also the CEO of Matchbox Realty. He said with no weather and funding delays it should take six to seven months to build Pringle’s new home.

“I’m glad we’re where we’re at now because we can do all the demonstration work, we can do the excavation,” Kelley said. “We can probably put the foundation in place and maybe do the block work. That’s about the amount of money we currently have to make.

Over the coming weeks and months, he hopes that donations will continue to flow so that after the demolition they can start framing the house, putting up a roof and covering the construction area for the winter months so that after the demolition that the work inside can begin, too.

Rankin said they wanted the community to get involved because Pringle has done so much for the people around Harrisonburg.

“JP, I just don’t know if he has someone he hasn’t helped,” Rankin said. “He asked me last week if there was a way to help the people of Kentucky [impacted by the tornados.]”

“JP is a great guy. He represents our community. It is the foundation of our community. He’s that type of personality, ”Kelley said.

Rankin said there will come a time when the Pringle House project will need more practical help from the community, such as installing electricity, planting flowers or painting the walls, but for right now, fundraising is their primary focus. He hopes to work with churches and local organizations to raise money for the construction project.

“We cannot continue to launch unless we are sure we have the funds. The only thing we don’t do is borrow money or something, ”Rankin said. “We are absolutely open to fundraising ideas. Everything to get us across the finish line.

If you would like to donate to the Pringle House project, you can online at its GoFundMe page, or mail a check to “First Baptist Church – Pringle House Project” PO Box 2451, Harrisonburg, VA 22802.

Copyright 2021 WHSV. All rights reserved.

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Margarita B. Bittner