Ex-offenders have a new purpose while repurposing Rockford mansion

Bill Howard moves a piece of lumber across the table on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, at the Hill House in Rockford. Howard hopes to repurpose all the lumber in the North Main Street mansion through a process known as “historic deconstruction.” KAYLI PLOTNER/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/RRSTAR.COM

Marks and the other men in this house can’t easily find steady work because of their criminal history. They’ve been brought here and hired by Bill Howard, a city-licensed demolition contractor who used to design landfills and now spends his days trying not to fill them up.

¬†Howard, 72, is an evangelist of “historic deconstruction,” the process of carefully stripping historically salvageable material from buildings and reusing it.

Source: Ex-offenders have a new purpose while repurposing Rockford mansion