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Sertoma begins building the first of 5 new Knoxville duplexes

In 2013, members of Channel 10 teamed up with the Home Builders Association of Greater Knoxville, Knox Area Association of Realtors to build a duplex for adult clients of the Sertoma Center. On March 18, a groundbreaking ceremony was held to build the first of 5 new duplexes to house more clients. 

<p>A rendering of the planned duplex to be built in East Knoxville for adult clients of the Sertoma Center.</p>

It's shaping up to be an exciting year for the Sertoma Center of Knoxville.

On March 18, members of the Sertoma Center, The Home Builders Association of Greater Knoxville, and the Knox Area Association of Realtors gathered together in East Knoxville to break ground on the first of 5 planned duplexes to be built for adult clients of Sertoma.

The Sertoma Center is based in Knoxville and works to serve adults with intellectual disabilities. In 2013, Channel 10 teamed up with the Home Builders Association of Greater Knoxville and the Knox Area Association of Realtors to build a duplex in East Knoxville.

"We've been doing our first ever capital campaign at Sertoma Center," said State Senator Becky Duncan Massey, Executive Director of the Sertoma Center. "In our 55 year history, we've never done a campaign so it's our first, ever."

They've set a $4 million dollar goal to build the 5 duplexes and have already raised $3.4 million dollars.

Construction on the first duplex is set to begin sometime in late-April or early May. The newest duplex will sit on newly acquired land in East Knoxville near the site of the duplex built in 2013. Plans are also coming into place for other duplexes in other parts of the area.

"We saw that these duplexes really do meet the needs of our folks at Sertoma as they're aging," said Massey.

Each building will be handicapped accessible and will house six residents-3 men on one side and 3 women on the other.

Right now, they're asking for volunteers to help with framing and building and for area businesses to donate things like supplies and appliances.

"We are looking for home building vendors that might like to contribute, help contribute some of the tile or the paint or different things that would go toward that," said Massey. "And, we are still accepting donations to help with this."

Anyone who might be able to help with volunteering or supplies visit www.sertoma.com