Lowe's marked its grand opening Thursday in Silverthorne with a board cutting ceremony as well as a $24,980 grant to the Summit County School District.
The money will be used toward technological improvements among the district's elementary schools and auditoriums.
"All of our fifth-grade classes will be equipped with hot spots and technological improvements that keep up with the opportunity to utilize iPads, smart boards, new projectors and widespread Internet connectivity," said Bethany Massey, technology director for the school district. "We will have students take a real-world problem and come up with a solution by learning through technology."
Such technological improvements will allow students to communicate internationally by using Skype to connect with other classrooms, said Crystal Miller, principal of Summit Cove Elementary.
"Adding such up-to-date technology will serve our students in endless ways," Miller said. "When learning about world hunger among other children across the world, being able to visualize and connect with those problems virtually will aid in understanding global issues."
Lowe's as a corporation has donated some $1.3 million nationwide to school systems and local charities.
"We are happy to continue Lowe's legacy of contributing to the communities in which we operate," said Silverthorne Lowe's store manager Doug Cousino.
Kicking off the Lowe's grand opening at 10 a.m. Thursday was Silverthorne Mayor Dave Koop, who used an electric saw for the board-cutting ceremony.
The 4-foot board was painted in a summer-winter theme to commemorate the present and future of Lowe's in Silverthorne.
Decorated with a cutthroat trout and vibrant fox, Lowe's employees Dinah Langsjoen from the paint department and Jerry Shannon from specialty flooring worked together to create the art on the board.
Talk among the ceremony's spectators was positive.
"I'm so glad to see that Lowe's is already doing such great things for the community," said Frisco resident Deedee Beyers. "The staff is already working with children and local organizations - I really enjoy the community passion the store has."
Several Silverthorne town officials were present for the ceremony, with Koop congratulating Lowe's staff.
"Thank you for the beautiful store and the jobs that you are providing to the community," Koop said. "On behalf of the Town of Silverthorne, we're looking forward to a long and successful run at this location."
Creating community excitement among shoppers has been one of the main goals for the staff, Cousino said.
"The staff here at Lowe's in remarkable," Cousino said. "Most of them employed full-time, I have no doubt that they will serve this community well."
The grand opening is a four-day celebration which began Thursday and will extend through Sunday with raffles daily.
Alongside several vendors and food from the Dillon Dam Brewery, Lowe's will raffle five $100 prizes every day from today through Saturday. At noon on Sunday, Lowe's will raffle off one $500 prize.
"Winners of the raffles will be allowed to pick whatever they want in the store up to a $100 value, or $500 if they are the lucky winner on Sunday," Cousino said.
Summit County Habitat for Humanity was also stationed alongside vendors Thursday, selling Lowe's gift cards. From the gift card sales, Lowe's will match up to $5,000 toward funding for local build projects.
"Lowe's is like a village within a village, coming to the store I see so many community members," Beyers said. "I get to talk my way through the store with friends - it is a great place to socialize because the needs of everyone in the community are met by the store."