The South Central Wisconsin Builders Association was originally chartered by the US Congress as the Rock County Builders Association on February 22, 1947. It is interesting to note that this charter predates the charter of the Wisconsin Builders Association by 2 months.
There were 8 charter members willing to work together to build the new association. The majority of the activity was in the Beloit area. An early development was the Inman Farm at the north edge of Beloit, now known as Garden Village. This was an important step for the Rock County Builders Association because it formed a financial base for it’s growth. The developers of this land were Glenn Webermeier and LaVerne Burmester. Each time they sold a lot, they contributed to a fund for the Association.
Both men were past presidents of this local association and both were active Life Directors of the National Association of Home Builders.
In November 1973, the name of Rock County Builders Association was changed to South Central Wisconsin Builders Association to more accurately identify the geographic area assigned to it by the Wisconsin Builders Association.
In November 1978, jurisdiction over Walworth County was relinquished by South Central and Walworth County formed their own association which became Lakeland Builders Association. In 2006, jurisdiction over Green County was relinquished and the South West Wisconsin Home Builders Association was formed. South Central’s jurisdiction now includes Rock County.
Five members of SCWBA have served as President of the WBA. Those include:
Tom Sugden 1973
Bob Kimball 1977
George Mark 1985
Larry Schauder 1989
Doug Scott 2009
The oldest annual activity of SCWBA is the Home Show which was first held in February 1973 at the Janesville Mall. In 1991, the association started it’s first Fall Home Products Show which was held at the Rock County Airport. It was later relocated to the Janesville Mall and ended in 2000 when the garage rental program was started in conjunction with the Parade of Homes. In 2012, the 40th Annual Home Show had a complete makeover, was moved to the Eclipse Center in Beloit, and renamed the Stateline Living, Home, Health & Garden Expo with 100 exhibit spaced filled.
In 1988, SCWBA presented it’s first Parade of Homes. From this start the event had 10 homes featured in scattered sites, with as many as 33 homes. For the first time, the Parade of Homes in 2008 included remodeled homes. As mentioned earlier, Garage Rental Program is included with the Parade. Attendance currently averages 3,000 visitors each September to Parade Homes.
In 2001, a new event was started, the Parade of Lights, to serve as SCWBA’s Community Service Project to a building related need – Rock County Habitat for Humanity. This was a Holiday Light display in Traxler Park during the month of December, which ended in 2010. As a result of this event, over $18,000 is donations were made to benefit Habitat.
Currently, SCWBA supports the YWCA Shelter, and Project 16:49 with work days, and various fund raising activities such as the $10,000 Giveaway Raffle in September 2011.
In 2006, the Education Committee began the first SCWBA Student Build Home. This home is built in cooperation with the Janesville School District, and is used to educate students in the Advanced Construction Classes from area high schools. The home is led by a different SCWBA Builder Member each year. The students make this their on-site classroom for the school year, learning all aspects of building a new home from start to finish. After each home is completed, it is sold, with proceeds set aside to benefit the next build, and fund Scholarships awarded to area high school seniors pursuing a career in a building related field.
Numerous SCWBA members serve on committees that all help to make SCWBA the association that it is today. Standing committees include:
Community Relations & Promotions
Education (Student Build Home & Student Scholarships)
Build a Better Wisconsin (Silent Auction PAC fundraiser)
Parade of Homes
Stateline Living Home, Health & Garden EXPO
Annual Golf Outing
Written by Carol Engebretson
April 27, 2012