Move That Bus: 'Extreme Makeover' Project Revealed
Family Sees Home, Library For First Time
Last Updated: 1493 days ago
They left behind an aging home in a struggling east side neighborhood, but the McFarland family returned Saturday to a revitalized community energized by a call to action from ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."The big reveal came just before 4 p.m. Saturday, when show host Ty Pennington and hundreds of spectators and volunteers shouted "move that bus" in the 2300 block of Oxford Street, 6News' Renee Jameson reported.Bernard McFarland -- an Indianapolis Public Schools employee -- and his three sons -- Courtney, Curtis and Dominique -- hugged one another as their brand new house and accompanying library was revealed. Then Bernard McFarland went to thank the crowd."He ran and jumped down to the crowd that was waiting down at the end of the block. He just cried and shouted back down to his house," said long-time friend, Valencia Reese. "It was great to watch him. It was moving."The home, a brick arts-and-craft-style structure with cream accents, replaces the 1920s home McFarland and his sons had lived in for eight years. The library, which was designed in the same vein, will serve as a community center and as the home of McFarland's nonprofit group, Pack House 2000.Bernard McFarland embraced lead builder Paul Estridge, of Carmel-based Estridge Homes, after the big reveal."It's been the most surprisingly emotional experience for all of us," Estridge said. "To see Bernard's reaction when he saw the home just absolutely just rocked us all."The neighborhood itself has also undergone a major renovation with companies and individuals pitching in to demolish abandoned houses, paint neighboring homes and landscape areas in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood.As a result of the show, the nearby Indianapolis Public School No. 37 building will be reopened as a place for community events and the entire area has been wired for wireless Internet access.Linda and Bill McFarland, Bernard's parents, were at Saturday's big reveal. They once lived in the neighborhood as well and said they were ecstatic with all that had been done."Words cannot express how I feel right now," Linda McFarland said. "I'm so grateful and, like I tell them all, it's God that did it. It was God who came in and showered this blessing down on Martindale-Brightwood."Sears has committed to covering the remaining amount of the McFarlands' mortgage. Money previously raised to cover the cost will now be devoted to helping the neighborhood.The McFarland boys also received another surprise upon returning home Saturday. Butler University officials presented each with a full-tuition scholarship for when they graduate from high school.The family was taken on a tour of their new home Saturday afternoon by the show's designers, but the public won't be able to see the inside of the house until the episode airs, tentatively set for the May 17 two-hour season finale.