Helping Habitat for Humanity

November 17th, 2014 by Mary Schmelzer
These kids will get their own homes this year through Habitat for Humanity

These kids will get their own homes this year through Habitat for Humanity

It is my honor and privilege to serve on the board for Rice County Habitat for Humanity, our local chapter. Through the work and generosity of many volunteers and donors, the organization has been able to build four new homes in our county this year.

Four new homes is a wonderful accomplishment in itself, but what is underlying is far more important. Four houses equals four homes for four families. Families that will be put on firmer ground for future financial success and stability. The children that live in these four houses now have a place to call their own, and the comfort that it will be theirs for the long haul. Communities also benefit from stable families in many ways.

Part of the mission statement for Habitat for Humanity is that it, “Brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.” What a great mission!

If you would like more information on what Habitat does, how you can volunteer, donate, or get involved in another way, check out the web page or call the office (507-744-2933) for more information. I would be happy to share my experiences too.

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Northfield: the best US city for well-rounded retirement

October 29th, 2014 by Mary Schmelzer

Northfield has recently been named the best city in the U.S. for a well-rounded retirement, according to MONEY Magazine.

Well, now the secret is out! But what they didn’t say in the article is that it is a great town for those who belong to any age group.

Here is the article and some feedback from our local newspaper.

And here is the original article.

Whether you are contemplating a move to our area or already live here, VIVUS is available to help make your home the best retreat in your corner of the world.

Downtown Northfield's Bridge Square, (Photo courtesy of Northfield News website)

Downtown Northfield’s Bridge Square, (Photo courtesy of Northfield News website)

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ArTech Addition is in the Air

August 18th, 2011 by Peter Schmelzer


Steel was swinging through the air this morning at the Northfield School of Arts and Technology.

Two new teaching studios are taking shape now that the structure is being erected. This summer’s heavy rains delayed the project twice, forcing re-digging of the foundation trenches. That is behind now, and full occupancy of the addition is expected in October.

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Community Action Center Looking Good

February 15th, 2011 by Peter Schmelzer


With our help, the Northfield Community Action Center is getting a face lift!

This is the Clothes Closet’s expanded sales area, with new changing rooms, additional housewares display, new carpet and a fresh coat of paint. It will be more hospitable to guests and more functional for staff, volunteers, and donors.

The Food Shelf is also undergoing some changes. Working closely with staff, we developed a plan that will really help the program both behind the scenes and in daily operational efficiency. We used a graduated color scheme to bring down the apparent height of the space to maintain the corner-grocery feel of the space while providing warehouse-style shelving. Flow will be greatly improved, with a logical arrangement of merchandise, additional cooler and freezer space, and a holding area for up to six pallets at a time.

When construction is complete, stop by and see the new look!

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Winter in Minnesota on Channel 4

January 22nd, 2011 by Peter Schmelzer

Boy Scout Troop 313 is camping overnight tonight in the snow! Unlike this happy homeowner, the scouts will be sleeping in tents, quincies (snow forts), and hammocks. Channel 4 visited the site and will put some footage on the air tonight at 6:00pm (or so we are told!) The forecast overnight low is -18 degrees Fahrenheit!

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Helping Non-Profits and Youth

December 13th, 2010 by Peter Schmelzer

I was surprised (and delighted) when we received the “Making a Difference Award” from the Healthy Community Initiative this month, for ‘exceptional efforts to positively impact the lives of Northfield Youth.’

This past year, we helped The Key remodel their new building in Northfield; consulted for the new greenhouse at ArTech Charter School; and have supported the Boy Scouts of America.

The recognition is appreciated; we believe in supporting Northfield’s non-profit entities as they support our youth!

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House Party!

October 28th, 2010 by Peter Schmelzer

Last week we attended a special celebration at a client’s home. The house turned 100, the owner turned 50 and the remodeling work we designed is complete! What better reason for a party?

It was great to see the faces of the other guests as they toured the remodeled second and third floors. Our design converted the attic into an insulated entertainment room with access to the roof-top, tub and 3/4-bath. On the second floor, we remodeled for a new bathroom and access to the porch via the new butler’s pantry. The homeowners gained both more space to use and more useable space!

Thanks for the good time and good project, Warren and Deborah!

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