Bill Hevrdeys, a Consolidated Nuclear Security Construction engineer who has worked at Y‑12 for more than 12 years, has worked on hundreds of construction projects all over the country, but one project is especially near and dear to his heart — the new home of the Emory Valley Center.
The Emory Valley Center is an Anderson County United Way agency that provides case management, training, housing, jobs and other services for adults with severe disabilities. The future 25,000 square foot building will house a medical and nursing center, gym with commercial kitchen, classrooms for children and adults served by the Emory Valley Center, and administrative offices.
Hevrdeys is using his expertise, honed over a 40-year career, to write design and construction contracts for the Oak Ridge nonprofit. He says it began as just another construction job, but quickly blossomed. Since 2013, he’s put in more than 1,000 hours of volunteer work.
“It got to be a lot more personal for me because I would see the folks who care for these intellectually and developmentally disabled adults and do it with such love,” he said. “It’s amazing that people can be that caring.”
He added, “After the first couple of months of helping out, I knew I wanted to a part of making this new building happen.”
Making it happen also included joining the center’s board of directors.
“Bill has been an invaluable asset to Emory Valley Center, and the board of directors by bringing his 40 years of practical business and construction management expertise to the project,” said John Eschenberg, who recently retired from the National Nuclear Security Administration and currently serves as president of the Emory Valley Center Board of Directors.
Jennifer Enderson, president of Emory Valley Center, describes Hevrdeys’ involvement in the project as instrumental.
“We are so appreciative of all the time and effort Bill has put forth toward Emory Valley Center’s new facility project. He has been instrumental in the design phase of this project, and we would not be where we are today without Bill’s expertise and knowledge,” said Enderson.
Funding for the project has come from a number of sources, including a $25,000 grant from CNS. Federal dollars also are involved, and that is where Hevrdeys’ experience and contacts has paid off in savings.
“We’ve been able to tap into the talents and resources of people here at Y‑12 to help them in providing some real savings for the project,” said Hevrdeys.
“I’ve worked for Bechtel, one of CNS’s member companies, for a long time, and the company is known for taking on the challenges of ‘one of a kind’ projects,” Hevrdeys said. “I have worked on those projects, and I consider my work for the Emory Valley Center every bit as important as one of my ‘one of a kind’ jobs.”
“That’s the level I put on this project,” he said. “There’s a piece of me in every project I’ve done, but this one has a very large piece of me because this is something I want to do for the clients and for the wonderful people who work there.”
And as he says those words, his voice struggles. “It’s really that emotional,” he said.
Working on this project is special to Bill Hevrdeys.