June 12, 2017 marked the ribbon cutting ceremony for the completion of the Barn to Bunkhouse conversion project at Whispering Hope Ranch (WHR), a 45-acre camp for children and animals with special needs, outside Payson, Arizona.
At full capacity with 126 beds in the existing Phase I construction of 10 cabins, an increase in the number of beds was necessary to ensure children in need have access to the WHR camp experience. With the help of volunteers, an eight-stall horse barn was renovated into a bunkhouse that sleeps 32 additional campers and their caregivers. ADA compliant restrooms, evaporative cooled air and backup emergency generator power were also included in the project.
The new bunkhouse’s first guests were campers from the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).
“The staff and campers LOVE the bunkhouse. The director of MDA’s camp lit up when she walked in and said she had no idea it would turn out so nice,” said Mary Clark, executive director of the Whispering Hope Ranch Foundation. “We’ve had other donors and guests come by and everyone thinks it turned out beautifully and is a great use of space to expand our impact.”
Looking for another way to give back to the community, Adam Mays, president of A.R. Mays Construction, found Whispering Hope Ranch. After touring the ranch and seeing what needed to be done, Adam took on the challenge as a passion project. Using the company’s construction and community connections, A.R. Mays was able to fund and build the $350,000 project through donations of labor, materials and financial contributions.
“As a father, builder and horse owner, the Barn to Bunkhouse project at Whispering Hope Ranch was a perfect fit,” said Adam Mays. “A lot of people volunteered their weekends to making the bunkhouse a reality for these children. This project could not have been done without the support from the many volunteers and donors. We look forward to working with Whispering Hope Ranch on their next phase of projects.”
Phase II is currently being designed to accommodate even more individuals in our community with special needs and will include additional cabins, a new multi-purpose facility for indoor dining and activities and additional amenities such as an adapted zip line.