Boone Bartlome’s home is currently in a state of transformation following his football injury, playing for Kuna High School, last November. Carpets have been ripped out for hardwood floors, door frames have been widened and the doors have been reoriented, and Boone’s room is an empty shell of what it used to be.
At a rifle auction held to raise money for the Bartlome family, students in Boise State’s Department of Construction Management stepped up and asked how they could help with the Bartlomes’ need to remodel their home. Construction Management Assistant Professor Casey Cline, who is a good friend of Boone’s father, set up the connection and the project commenced.
Boone’s room needs to have hardwood flooring, his bathroom needs to be more easily maneuverable, a recreation and physical therapy space is being implemented, a wheelchair ramp to the front door and porch area off of Boone’s bedroom are being constructed.
Robin Ward, a close family friend of the Bartlomes, said the journey to returning to a “normal” life has felt long and anxious for the Bartlomes. They have been rotating staying in homes of family friends.
Having been out of their home for months has been taxing, but the project is necessary and will help facilitate
Now, after two full months the project is nearly complete. Project Manager and Boise State student Danny Hinson said the project has been a rewarding learning experience.
“We wanted to make sure he could be as self-reliant as possible and I feel like we’ve done a lot to help with that and not make him rely on help from his parents and other things,” Hinson said.
Outside help has been a large factor in the project though. Local companies have donated supplies and people in the area have offered their time in the construction. In addition to the 30 members of the Boise State construction management team, about 70 other individuals have contributed their time and resources to the project, and many community members have offered their well wishes to the family.
Hinson and Ward said the Bartlomes have been overwhelmed with the kindness, and they express their thanks to everyone who has helped with this experience.
“Any time you can give back to your community, especially in hard times like this that Bartlomes are going through it’s a great feeling and it’s rewarding to be able to do that especially when they don’t really have the means to do this project themselves,” Hinson said. “When you can bring a group of people in the construction industry together and do it at such a small cost for them (the family)…that in itself is payment enough to be able to give back and do something like that.”
Ward acknowledged that Boone’s athletic lifestyle has been dealt a blow, but he’s been staying positive and transitioning back into school. Boone is also planning on speaking at elementary schools and motivating kids to be strong in facing life challenges.
“He loves doing anything because he’s just so athletic. (He’s) very ambitious, very driven,” Ward said. “He just goes out and does it and does it well.”
Ward said the family is still unsure of how Boone’s recovery process is going to unfold. The home remodel is a big adjustment for everyone, but it is hoped to help with Boone’s development.
“(Boone) tends to be successful at anything he does and that’s why he’ll be successful at this (recovering),” Ward said.