Point of Beginning

Surveyor Gives Back with Life Remodeled

Project will help renovate high school in Detroit

February 12, 2014
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Mark Dandar wants to give back. Call it part of his mission statement.

Dandar has taken action on that mission, volunteering his skills as a surveyor to help rebuild a high school and neighborhood in the city of Detroit.

The project, organized by the non-profit organization Life Remodeled, seeks to remodel Cody High School. Plans for the project include installing a new track and field, and the mission resonated with Dandar.

“It is local. It’s in the city of Detroit,” said Dandar, a professional surveyor with Mark Land Surveying PLLC who cites his Christian faith as a big reason for his service work.

“I like working in an urban area and giving back to the community,” he said.

The project also calls for painting, landscaping and renovating a classroom. In addition, Life Remodeled plans to remove blight and beautify homes in the surrounding neighborhood as well as Mann and Henderson elementary schools in Detroit.

For his part, Dandar will contribute topographic surveying and construction layout. Though the bulk of the work will take place Aug. 11-17 of this year, Dandar already has started on the topographic surveying.

“We’ve done some work,” Dandar said, though snow hampered the work. “We went out and found some fences. We tried a few elevations.”

Last year, Dandar also volunteered with Life Remodeled when the group built a new home, beautified 65 city blocks and renovated 36 homes in Detroit.

Dandar describes Life Remodeled as “sort of like ‘Extreme Makeover.” The organization’s website says it “exists to remodel lives—one neighborhood at a time.”

Life Remodeled’s goals are big in 2014. Dandar said the group hopes to have 10,000 volunteers, almost double the estimated 5,200 volunteers it had last year. The organization also hopes to expand its neighborhood cleanup efforts to 100 blocks in 2014. It’s a massive project that could use more volunteers and more information can be found on the Life Remodeled website.

He said it’s a perfect project for surveyors to volunteer for, much like Habitat for Humanity.

“It gets a lot of different people involved,” Dandar said. “People from the suburbs, people from the city.”