SOUTH HAMPTON — Thanks to the efforts of a local contractor, Boston Marathon bombing victim Jeff Bauman will soon have an easier time visiting his girlfriend’s parents in South Hampton.
Andrew Courtney, the owner of Red Hammer Builders, is building a handicapped-accessible, wooden ramp at the Jewell Street home of Bill and Lori Hurley. Courtney and his fiancee, Ashley Conchieri, are close friends with Erin Hurley, who will be the maid of honor in the couple’s upcoming wedding.
On April 15, Bauman was waiting at the finish line for Erin, an Amesbury High School graduate and Brighton resident who was running her first Boston Marathon, when one of the bombs exploded. He lost both of his legs, which had to be amputated above the knee.
Since then, Bauman, a Chelmsford resident, has become one of the most prominent faces of the attack, thanks in part to a widely circulated Associated Press photograph of him and rescuer Carlos Arredondo from that day and the fact that information he gave helped lead police to the suspects, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Last month, Bauman and Arredondo were lauded before Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals in Boston, where Bauman stood before the crowd on his new prosthetic legs. And the week before, Bauman was honored at the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce’s 97th Annual Dinner.
Shortly after the attacks, Courtney called Hurley to let her know he wanted to donate his services. After she told him they would like a ramp at her parents’ house, he got to work designing it.
The town of South Hampton provided the building permit at no cost, and CP Building Supply of Kensington, N.H., donated all the materials for the project.
“I told (Courtney) I would be more than happy to supply whatever they needed,” said Michael Picard, owner of CP Building. “We enjoy donating to these worthwhile charities. It’s good to give back to the community, and I think that’s the best way to do it, for people in need.”
Courtney, who lives in Middleton now but grew up in South Hampton, said he has spent two recent Sundays working on the ramp and expects to have it completed in three weeks. While he’s mostly working solo, he has had some help here and there.
“Everyone who is working with me is a volunteer,” he said. “Bill’s helped a bunch, too.”
Lori Hurley said she’s looking forward to having the ramp, since it means that Bauman, who has been dating her daughter for more than a year, will no longer have to be carried inside when he comes to visit.
“We were very pleased, and I just think it’s generous,” she said. Courtney “is working very hard out there.”
Hurley added that since the marathon, her family and Bauman have been moved by “the outpouring of support” from people.
“It was a shock and it was sad, but I’ll tell you that since that time, people’s generosity has just been overwhelming,” she said. “We’ve been touched by it, and, of course, Jeff and Erin have been touched by it.”