By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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Betsy Reed Schultz, the founder of the nonprofit Captain Joseph House Foundation, has set the informational meeting for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, in the main hall of the Queen of Angels Catholic Church at 209 W. 11th St., Port Angeles.
The public can hear about the renovations and improvements Schultz and her team of architects have in store for Schultz’s former Tudor Inn bed and breakfast at 1108 S. Oak St.
Additionally, the meeting will allow those attending to learn how they can get involved with the renovation of the house, which Schultz said will be nearly an all-volunteer endeavor.
“This [meeting] is just basically to get everybody on board [and] to say where were and where we’re going,” she said.
Schultz said the renovations to the house will cost an estimated $500,000, which will be sought entirely through donations.
The Captain Joseph House — named for Schultz’s son, Army Capt. Joseph Schultz, who was killed in action serving in Afghanistan on May 29, 2011 — will be a place of healing and relaxation for the families of military service men and women killed in action since Sept. 11, 2001, Schultz said.
The house, once renovated, will be able to host up to three families at a time from Sunday to Friday, Schultz said, and will offer the families a chance to unwind, cook their own meals and experience the numerous outdoor activities the North Olympic Peninsula has to offer.
Renovations will include turning the house’s five bedrooms into three, doubling the size of the kitchen and adding an elevator to comply with federal Americans with Disabilities Act regulations.
Architectural renderings of the plans will be on display at the meeting, and the architects involved will be on hand to answer questions on both the planned structural and landscape improvements for the house.
Charlie Smith, with Port Angeles-based architectural firm Lindberg & Smith Architects, said last week he has been working with Schultz for about a year on the project and is donating as much of his time as possible to what he sees as an especially worthy cause.
“This is just such an awesome project,” Smith said. “If you know any veterans or any families that have lost a [veteran] family member, it’s a no-brainer.”
Smith, who said he has known Schultz for years, said some of the biggest changes to the inside of the home will be the conversion of the existing bedrooms into larger spaces where three families at a time can have their own space.
“[We’re] also adding a sun room to help expand [the space] and give families more places they can interact with each other,” Smith said.
Since Schultz came up with the idea for the house after her son was killed, Smith said she kept a firm vision of what she wanted the house to look like but needed a hand in hammering out the design details.
“She had a concept of what she wanted to do,” Smith said, “and she just needed help making that a reality.”
In addition to the interior and structural renovations, the property surrounding the house will be re-landscaped to provide a sitting garden where families hosted at the house can enjoy a more natural environment by just stepping out the door, Schultz said.
Carol Gentry, from Port-Angeles-based Gentry Architecture Collaborative, said Schultz sought out her and architect Michael Gentry — Carol’s husband — after Schultz learned of Carol Gentry’s training in therapeutic gardening.
Carol Gentry said she and her husband have developed great respect for Schultz over their years-long friendship and jumped at the chance to donate their time to help make the Captain Joseph House a reality.
“We wanted to be involved with it purely because it’s Betsy,” Carol Gentry said.
Gentry said the most noticeable change planned for the landscape surrounding the house will be the addition of a water feature, which Gentry envisions as a shallow, controlled stream running from the house downhill to a lower part of the property.
“[The stream] basically provides motion and sound over some pebbles, but it won’t have any depth to it,” Gentry said.
The garden space will also have a new gazebo and include the addition of some new plants, though Gentry said Schultz has maintained the property beautifully.
We’ll try very hard to retain some of the [plantings] there, because a lot of it is beautiful now,” Gentry said.
For more information on the Captain Joseph House Foundation and to make a donation, visit the foundation’s website at http://bit.ly/S8MyDt.
Donations can also be mailed to the Captain Joseph Foundation at 1108 S. Oak St., Port Angeles, WA, 98362.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsula