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Day-Labor Site Moves Forward

Group projects mid-December opening date.

Project Hope and Harmony members and volunteers have been working feverishly over the past month to prepare for the regulated day-labor site's opening, scheduled for sometime next week.

"The preparations include a lot of last-minute stuff," said Bill Threlkeld, day-labor site director.

In the past month Threlkeld has worked with town staff to ensure all recommendations to the submitted site plan were complete. Herndon's Architectural Review Board recently approved bilingual signs to be hung that will direct contractors and workers at the new location. The board also approved the construction of a shelter that will be built by the workers once the site is operational. The shelter will also hold heaters, so workers can try to stay warm while waiting for work in the winter months.

The trailer, which will house offices for Project Hope and Harmony employees on site, is in the process of being placed and will need to be hooked up to electricity and sewer connections, said Threlkeld.

Once the bike racks are installed, parking areas designated, signs hung and the trailer in place, Herndon's zoning inspectors will need to review the additions and sign off on the changes to the former police station parking lot, said Threlkeld.

Currently, the site could open anywhere between Dec. 12 and Dec. 19, according to Threlkeld.

Following the town's final approval, Threlkeld and volunteers will begin to implement the group's transition plan.

To assist with the move of workers and contractors from the unofficial site at the 7-Eleven at the corner of Alabama Drive and Elden Street, a transition team has been created, he said. This team will be responsible for telling workers the center is up and operational; they will ensure that workers walk the proper routes to the new site; and they will inform contractors of the change in location.

Starting this week Threlkeld was scheduled to distribute flyers to men at the 7-Eleven and contractors to inform them of the upcoming move and the regulated site's hours of operation. The new site will be open Monday through Friday from 6 to 11 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to noon.

"The fact is it's getting cold," said Threlkeld about the rush to get the center open. "We'd like to get these guys there so they can have better conditions [while they wait for work] than they had last winter."