Summit County nonprofits continue to seek funding for new Sol Center facility after project’s projected costs jump 20%
Family & Intercultural Resource Center, Building Hope continue fundraising amid record-high need for services
Two Summit County nonprofits seeking to finance a new facility to house their services will need to raise millions more than previously thought after projected costs jumped 20%.
Dubbed the Sol Center, the roughly 18,000-square-foot building will be the new home for the Family & Intercultural Resource Center (in particular its food market) and Building Hope, a mental health nonprofit. The facility is set to be built adjacent to the Alta Verde workforce housing neighborhood in Breckenridge.
Brianne Snow, the resource center’s executive director, said that while both nonprofits had been nearing the finish line for fundraising, new construction estimates have moved the goal post.
“I need to get us to a point where we can move forward with construction,” Snow said. “We think it’s really important that everyone in the community gets behind this building.”
The project had been estimated to cost around $11.8 million, with nonprofit leaders saying that many fundraising efforts over the past year had brought them within 90% of that goal.
However, during a May 23 Breckenridge Town Council meeting, Snow told officials that projected costs were now around $13.4 million, putting the nonprofits at about 80% of their goal.
Recession concerns, supply chain issues and a lack of specialized contractors within the county have driven up costs, according to a memo presented to council members. Adjustments to the building plans, including the need to prioritize environmental sustainability, have also kept costs higher than initially anticipated.
The push to finalize the project comes as both nonprofits report record community need.
Snow said the resource center is seeing between 200 and 300 people every day that its food market is open. It has spent about $6,000 each week on food this year, but in May it was nearing $11,000. Concerns around a rise in food insecurity have only grown after Supplemental Food Assistance Program benefits shrank earlier this year.
“We were hoping those numbers would go down,” Snow said. “They haven’t thus far.”
The nonprofit is also seeing demand for its other services, such as rental assistance. According to the memo presented to council members, the amount of resource center clients who reported not having adequate housing — such as living in a car or an overcrowded environment — rose to 27% this year, up from 8% last year.
At Building Hope, Program Manager Kellen Ender said the nonprofit is continuing to see “higher rates of suicide, higher rates of youth depression.”
It’s why both Snow and Ender said a new building to provide enhanced spaces for their nonprofit’s wrap-around services is desperately needed.
To close the fundraising gap, nonprofit leaders will need more than $2 million in additional funding. If they cannot secure that soon, they may have to resort to taking out a construction loan, which Snow said could bring with it a 30-year mortgage.
As part of their ask, the nonprofits sought $700,000 in new funding from Breckenridge officials, who ultimately approved $500,000 whilst leaving the door open to future considerations. The nonprofits have so far succeeded in raising funds from public entities, such as the towns of Breckenridge and Frisco, as well as from other nonprofits and the private sector.
Several Breckenridge council members, while voicing support for the project, said they see it as a community-wide interest.
“This is not just a Breckenridge project,” said Mayor Eric Mamula, adding that while he is happy for the town “to carry a lot of the load,” he also wants to see continued investments from other community leaders.
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