High Country Conservation Center expanding to bigger office in Dillon
October 28, 2016
The town of Dillon announced Friday that the High Country Conservation Center (HC3) will be moving to the old Dillon Town Hall, former home of the Lake Dillon Theatre Company, from its current location in the historic Staley House on Main Street in Frisco. If everything goes according to plan, the group will be set-up in their new digs by Monday.
The move comes on the heels of several years of expansion for HC3, which works to promote resource conservation in Summit County through recycling, composting, energy and water conservation, environmental education and sustainable food programs. Since the group moved in to the Staley House in 2008, it's added two new staff members, making a total of six.
"Not that we don't love working with each other, but it's kind of a tight fit," said an employee from her desk in the quaint Staley House as staff bustled around in back filling boxes.
HC3's current location has only 623 square feet of workspace (the second floor of the building is exclusively used for storage), but their new location will be a spacious 2,590.
"We are incredibly excited to move to Dillon to a much bigger and more functional office space," HC3 executive director Jennifer Schenk said in a statement.
The town hall was one of the buildings moved in 1963 from Dillon's original location, which is now at the bottom of the lake. It was later used by the Dillon Theatre Company until that group moved out earlier this year for its new location in Silverthorne, which is still under construction.
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Before HC3 could make the move, though, some extensive renovations were in order. The old town hall, in fitting with its rustic aesthetic, was a little bare bones for housing a modern workspace.
With the help of volunteers — and a generous $2,500 donation from Lowe's — HC3 completed a remodel of the building, which on the inside will use "upcycled" wooden pallets as cubicle dividers. Over several workdays, community members and the HC3 staff sealed up holes and leaks, repainted the black-box theater interior, installed efficient LED lighting and a thermostat and added some much-need insulation just in time for winter.
Also in preparation for the rapidly approaching winter, HC3 will be offering $99 energy audits for homeowners looking to save on their heating and electric bills — or just stay a little more comfortable when temperatures plunge. For Summit residents earning less than 80 percent of area median income (up to $46,160 annually for individuals and $65,840 for a family of four), HC3's Colorado Affordable Residential Energy, or CARE, program offers free energy assessments, LED bulbs and energy upgrades, including boiler tune-ups and insulation improvements.
But perhaps the best part of the move for HC3, beyond the added elbowroom, is the deal the group is getting on the rent: just $1 per month. An employee said they've already paid the town of Dillon $12 for their full first year's rent.
"We are excited to welcome HC3 to the neighborhood," said Dillon Mayor Kevin Burns. "The town of Dillon had had space available and a community need that aligned with the growing space requirements of HC3. It feels good that the town is in a position to support the organization through a rent subsidy."
The move-in process will begin Monday, and the group expects to be settled in and fully operational again by Wednesday. The Frisco community garden will be relocated to the Frisco Peninsula for summer 2017.
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