EBase USA - Blue Ridge
The idea behind the EBase USA - Blue Ridge came from James Bray of AkzoNobel - Roanoke. James met Peter Lewis and Janice Dunleavy of Apple Ridge Farm and recognized its potential to host an EBase and a dream was born. Having been to the first EBase in Antarctica in 2008, James was inspired by Sir Robert Swan to make a difference and go for it. He saw an opportunity to reach thousands of children from all areas of the Roanoke Valley and beyond with a local EBase.
Thanks to the Roanoke chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) which generously donated the railroad boxcar that was retrofitted to become EBase USA - Blue Ridge. Apple Ridge Farm students now have an up close opportunity to learn about using our renewable natural resources such as wind and solar to power a building without using any of the Earth's vital non-renewable resources. This project was completed with the help of over 20 volunteers and could not have been completed without the financial assistance from AkzoNobel.
During the remodeling, the first task was emptying the boxcar which was full of tools from its days as a toolcar. Later, it had been used for storage by the NRHS - Roanoke Chapter. After all the loose items were removed, all the attached items (shelving, tables, tool rack, etc) were cut out with a plasma cutter. Once the boxcar was completely cleaned out, the process began to build the wall and ceiling frame. It was also determined that the floor in front of the center doors would have to be replaced.
After the inside framing was complete and the floor was replaced. The next task was to design and put in the appropriate electricity, properly insulate the boxcar, and put up the walls and ceiling.