Catholic church to be built in north Silverthorne |

Catholic church to be built in north Silverthorne

summit daily news
Special to the Daily

SILVERTHORNE – The St. Mary, Our Lady of Peace Catholic parish, which ministers to all of Summit County, plans to build a new church in north Silverthorne.

The parish currently has two churches, St. Mary in Breckenridge and Our Lady of Peace in Dillon Valley. The new church is meant to replace the Dillon Valley worship center, which was built in 1974 and “is a very simple structure” the church has long outgrown, deacon and business administrator Chuck Lamar said.

“We’ve been talking about replacing it for 20 years,” he said. “Now, the time is right to raise the money and get it done.”

The new church, which is being designed by Denver’s Eidos Architects, is to have a sanctuary that’s nearly double the size of what’s in the Dillon Valley church. There will be social space, meeting rooms, a kitchen and classrooms, Lamar said, all of which are lacking in the current facility. The goal is to better serve visitors and the church community.

When the Silverthorne project is complete, the Dillon Valley property and its structures are to be sold.

Currently, the Silverthorne Town Council is considering changing the zoning to allow proposed structures to be built, a process which includes working with town staff to establish architectural guidelines for the site. Community development director Mark Leidal said the town asked for written specifics for materials, color, roofs, facades and more – items which ensure the church will fit into the town’s overall aesthetic.

Once that’s complete, the church and its architects are to line out the subdivision borders with road proposals as well as submit a more detailed site plan for consideration.

Leidal said the church fits into the town’s comprehensive plan, which envisions churches being in or near residential zones. With the site being adjacent to current and proposed residential areas and on the northern fringes of existing commercial property, “It’s a good fit from a location perspective,” Leidal said.

The goal is to break ground in spring, Lamar said, adding that by constructing the building’s exterior shell before next winter should enable its interior completion before Spring 2012.

“It’s going fine so far,” Leidal said, adding that the proposed timeline “is still totally doable from our perspective.”

The project has become ripe since the parish’s master plan was established about three years ago. Parishioners have already pledged the $2.665 million needed to complement the parish’s existing assets. The donations and current assets will pay for the approximately $5 million project, Lamar said.

In 2008, the church purchased 5 acres of land on the Smith Ranch property, which is adjacent to a proposed Silverthorne affordable housing project and a piece of commercial real estate.

It’s an ideal location, Lamar said, because it’s visible, accessible and easy to find as well as being on buildable land with accessibility to the town’s utility infrastructure. It also has quick access to the Summit Stage public transportation.

“A lot of things have fallen into place and we feel very blessed the time is right,” Lamar said.

SDN reporter Janice Kurbjun can be contacted at (970) 668-4630 or at

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