GROVELAND — Seven-year-old Paige Turner welcomed her first grade classmates from Groveland Elementary to her Make-a-Wish playhouse Tuesday.
When Paige made her choice of a playhouse, she said, "I'd never seen one before; I didn't know you could fit in it."
Paige's two-story playhouse features a fireplace, kitchen area and steps up to the second floor. From the second floor, Paige and her friends can stand on a porch and a slide descends to the ground from a window.
The playhouse arrived in three pieces last Wednesday.
"I didn't know when it was going to be here," Paige said. "I was surprised."
Scott Baker is the Make-a-Wish provider, said Paige's parents, Vanae and Aaron Turner. Don Dickman laid the concrete slab. Herrick Floor Coverings provided the carpeting. People working in the Auto and Loan Department of the WestMark Credit Union in Idaho Falls are painting the playhouse.
The inside of the playhouse is painted white and brown with lavender accents. The outside of the building will be painted "drama violet" with white trim and yes, Paige likes the color purple.
All the people who have helped on this project "are all great contributors," said Paige's mom, Vanae.
The fireplace will be completed; furniture and decorations are yet to be added.
Plans are to add a sidewalk and front step to the playhouse, said her dad, Aaron.
When it is complete, Paige is planning a pajama party for her 16 classmates before the end of the school year.
"It's going to be really fun," Paige said.
"We've been studying about building homes for the past three weeks," said Joane Clovis, Paige's first grade teacher.
Contractor Bob Despain brought tools into the classroom, Clovis said.
"We've been studying how homes are built from start to finish," she said. "We started studying about basements, then walls and sheet rock, up to the roof.
"We've also studied about animal homes and why we need shelter—for protection," Clovis said.
Paige suffers from an auto-immune disorder. Paige's kidneys were removed last June and replaced by a kidney taken from her dad.
Paige's body is allergic to the kidney, her mom said.
"The doctors have found that Paige has a hard, complicated case," Vanae said. "We just try to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible,"
Paige has a sister, Violet, 5, and brother, Teigan, 3. The Turners will welcome a new baby brother very soon.