Local fundraising support helps make Carbondale’s Third Street Center a reality | PostIndependent.com

Local fundraising support helps make Carbondale’s Third Street Center a reality

Contributed report
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

A diverse collection of more than two dozen nonprofit organizations, artists and for-profit businesses are moving into their new homes in the 45,100-square-foot former Carbondale Elementary School. But fundraising to pay for the multi-million dollar effort that transformed the 49-year-old school into a multi-tenant nonprofit center is ongoing.

A handful of Roaring Fork Valley organizations have recently confirmed commitments totaling $401,000, bringing the capital campaign to raise the funds needed much closer to its $1.875 million goal, according to Colin Laird, the Third Street Center’s interim executive director.

“Early on, the campaign received substantial support from governmental bodies, including the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Town of Carbondale, and Garfield County, as well as from Aspen Community Foundation and Front Range foundations,” said Laird, “but this additional support from local donors has brought the campaign to just over $300,000 away from its ambitious goal. Without their generosity, the Third Street Center would not exist.” In addition to providing a long-term construction loan and permanent mortgage secured by bank qualified tax-exempt bonds, Alpine Bank recently made a $100,000 contribution. “The Third Street Center is going to be such a great asset not only to the Carbondale community but the whole Roaring Fork Valley,” said Richard Fuller, president, Alpine Bank Carbondale. “Alpine Bank is pleased to be able to be a part of it because it will serve so many of the wonderful nonprofit organizations in our valley that in turn serve and help so many residents.”

The Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE), which will have a mid-valley office in the Third Street Center, made a pre-development grant of $80,000 to help with the project’s design and later made a second commitment of $101,000. CORE is a nonprofit organization that promotes renewable energy, energy efficiency and green building in western Colorado and beyond. “The Center’s reuse of existing building space, green design and efficiency upgrades illustrate the Carbondale community’s commitment to sustainability,” explained Nathan Ratledge, CORE Director. “From day-lighting and boiler upgrades to low-flow toilets and substantial solar production, Carbondale should be proud of its latest addition. Our hats are off to the design team!” Another generous grant of $20,000 came from The Thrift Shop of Aspen, an organization that has been supporting nonprofits throughout the valley since its founding more than 50 years ago. “The Thrift Shop, which is a nonprofit itself, averages over $300,000 per year in donations to more than 90 nonprofits, but we tend to spread out our support and rarely make a grant of this size,” said Christina Patterson, Thrift Shop Board President. “In light of the range of human and social needs being met by the nonprofits in the Center, many of which we fund annually, our Board and volunteers chose to make a larger grant.”

The Manaus Fund, a social entrepreneurship fund that loaned major pre-development funding to the Center, has made a combined contribution of $100,000. Half of this donation is being directed to the campaign, and the second $50,000 is being shared among tenants to use for improvements to their individual spaces.

“We’ve been fortunate to have outstanding leadership from key funders as well as their financial participation,” said Laird. “Former Carbondale Mayor Michael Hassig, The Manaus Fund founder George Stranahan and Alpine Banks of Colorado Chairman J. Robert Young all serve as Honorary Chairs of the Third Street Center Campaign.”

Laird announced that planning for a Grand Opening Celebration to be held at the Center, Saturday, June 19, 4-9 p.m. is underway. “The entire Roaring Fork Valley community and all of our supporters far and wide are invited,” said Laird. “The Grand Opening promises to be the party of the year in Carbondale.”

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