Summit County government is tearing down the building that once housed Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Dillon Valley to make way for a future affordable-housing development, officials announced last week.
The structure, which the county purchased in October, was in disrepair and would have required maintenance and monitoring to ensure it did not become an eyesore or unauthorized living space, according to a statement from the county.
"The county's housing strategy has been to take advantage of the current real estate prices to acquire land with the potential for future public projects, including potential public-private partnerships regarding workforce housing," County Commissioner Dan Gibbs stated in an email. "The Dillon Valley parcel was one such opportunity that we believe could benefit the public in the years to come."
The property was purchased Oct. 3 with funding dedicated for affordable housing.
Demolition of the church is set to begin within a few weeks.
The Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church is now located in a new building in Silverthorne.
The Summit Board of County Commissioners decided to tear down the old church after evaluations revealed it was in need of repairs and contaminated with asbestos, "making its rental to other organizations or its use for county programs concerning," the release stated.
The county will follow proper asbestos abatement procedures during the demolition and materials not contaminated will be recycled. The site will also be revegetated, according to the county statement.
Although the property will eventually be used for additional workforce housing, county officials say they currently have no immediate plans for the long-term development of the site.
"As opportunities arise and plans are developed they will be shared with the community as part of the county's typical community development and planning processes," the release stated.
Our Lady of Peace is now offering services out of a newly constructed building at the north end of Silverthorne,
The Dillon Valley church was constructed in 1974, but church leaders always considered it to be their temporary home.
Our Lady of Peace deacon Chuck Lamar told the Summit Daily the old building was a, "very simple structure," saying it was "not conducive to celebrating the sacraments."
Summit Daily sports editor Janice Kurbjun contributed to the reporting of this story.