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Plans Unveiled For Accessible Home For Former Rock Hill Police Officer Matt Crosby

Schaub+Srote Architects rendering of the new home planned for former Rock Hill police officer Matt Crosby. Shot in April 2010, Crosby was left paralyzed from the chest down.

September 08, 2017
For former Rock Hill Police Officer Matt Crosby, the past seven years have been nothing short of a nightmare. But brighter days are ahead, thanks to his support group, Crosby's Crew, and his friends at Kirkwood-based Schaub+Srote Architects.

In April 2010, Crosby was shot while responding to a domestic disturbance. The bullet lodged in his spine, paralyzing him from the chest down.

The past few years, Crosby has lived in a home that could hardly be described as ADA-accessible. Narrow doorways and high countertops have made his everyday life an exercise in futility.

No more.

On Thursday, Aug. 31, at a press conference held at the Rock Hill Library, Robert Srote of Schaub+Srote unveiled renderings of Crosby's planned new home.

"When we first learned last January that Officer Matt Crosby was shot and paralyzed while in the line of duty here in Rock Hill, and that he was living in a home with limited accessibility for seven years after being shot, we wanted to help any way we could," said Robert Srote.

The firm met with Crosby, agreeing to volunteer its architectural, structural engineering and interior design services.

"We're thrilled to be part of that group of volunteers known as 'The Crosby Crew,'" Srote said. So far, about $150,000 has been raised toward construction of the home.

Srote said Crosby dreamed of a modest, accessible home where he could raise his children. Srote said his team was aiming for a comfortable, generous retreat — an accessible, smart home built with sustainable materials, wide doorways and corridors, accessible countertops, flush entry showers, elevator access to the lower level, and several other features that will allow Crosby to live comfortably.

Matt Crosby was in attendance at the Rock Hill Library on Aug. 31 for the unveiling of architectural drawings of his new home. photo by Diana Linsley.

The home will be without steps and all light switches will be within Crosby's reach. Schaub+Srote is working with Integration Controls on the home's lighting.

"Matt will be able to control the lights from an app on his phone," Schaub said. "He'll also be able to turn the stereo and television off and on from his phone."

Crosby's 5,000-square-foot home will be on 10 wooded acres in St. Charles County. A lake will be built to the edge of the house. Pathways will be installed through the woods so Crosby can explore his new property.

"Matt loves fishing and being outdoors," Schaub said. "One of the issues we have learned in working with him is that because of his condition his body temperature can fluctuate. Now he can sit on the deck and not be in the sun.

"We also have built a gravel stop along the porch by the water," Schaub continued. "It will be a buffer to keep him from rolling into the lake."

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The house also has a wrap-around porch as a safety feature in the event of fire. Crosby was overwhelmed by the plans.

"This would be the home I would build if I won the lottery," he said. "It's a dream home for me. It's beautiful and I can't wait to live in it."

He said his two sons, Luke, 15, and Ian, 14, are going to love it too.

"It's been a long time since I've been this happy," Crosby said. "There's so many things you need that you don't think of until you're put in this situation. This will make life a lot easier."

Crosby's mother, Virginia, said the planned new home will mean freedom for her son.

"He will be able to do the things that he hasn't been able to do since he got shot," she said. "Where he is now he can't even get his mail because it's too steep of a hill. He's reliant on someone to help him do things, and he shouldn't have to be dependent on others for help."

Schaub said he and Srote have seen changes in Crosby from when they met in January.

"He had a heavy weight on his shoulders," Schaub said. "He was depressed and hardly moved from his bed. Now he laughs and jokes, and has a great personality."

The architects thought they could make his current home more liveable, but then learned that Crosby was leasing the house.

Srote said the start date for construction of Crosby's new home is pending.

"We're in the bid phase right now," he said. "As soon as we can gather all of the bids and donations we'll start the project, which will take 12 to 14 months.

"We're seeking building materials and skilled labor to start the construction process," he continued. "St. Louis is the most generous city in the world and we know that with the help of the community we can make our dream of a comfortable, accessible home for Officer Crosby and his boys become a reality."

Those wishing to make a monetary donation or learn of future fundraising events can visit www.crosbycrew.org. To volunteer or donate materials or supplies, visit www.schaubsrote.com/crosby.

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