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Old Mervyns store getting new life

After nearly five years of sitting mostly vacant and unused, the Mervyns building in downtown Marysville has new life, thanks to Habitat for Humanity.

During a tour of the building before it opened, almost everything in Marysville's largest store can spur a story — except, maybe, for the $300 gray safe resting in front of a row of books.

That item stumped Bill Williamson, president of the Yuba-Sutter affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, as he stood in the store that celebrates its grand opening today.

Williamson spoke about the cabinets for sale that came from former residential housing at Beale Air Force Base, the $50 basketball shooting game called Harvard Hoops that made the trip from Habitat's former store on B Street and Global Green, recycled latex paint.

"You'd be surprised what we get," he said of goods that include used books.

The store covers 66,337 square feet.

Lighting, flooring, doors and furniture are among goods for sale as a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity projects. Deb Morris, manager of the new ReStore, said the old building on B Street covered about 15,000 square feet.

"We're not quite used to something this size," she said of the D Street site. "We've got more room, and that's what we want."

The Children's Play Museum of Yuba-Sutter, which began as a site without walls, is in a corner of the store as a pilot project. The museum with its features including stacking blocks and blowing bubbles is free today, and then open Saturdays through February with a $5 charge.

A quarter of the old Mervyns building is devoted to the Construction Zone where a new house will be built and then moved to Booth Street near Marysville High School.

Habitat is leasing the old Mervyns building, which closed in December 2008. The ReStore here is one of the largest in the United States. The nonprofit based in Atlanta has more than 700 stores in the United States and Canada.

Williamson said former President Jimmy Carter, the nonprofit's most famous volunteer, won't be in Marysville for the opening but that Williamson expects to see Carter in Atlanta at a Habitat conference in March.

Stephanie Eversole, one of the volunteers who have been at the new Marysville site for about a month, is happy to have the doors open.

"I'm very excited," she said.

CONTACT Ryan McCarthy at or 749-4780. Find him on Facebook at /ADrmccarthy or on Twitter at @ADrmccarthy.

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