Yampa Valley Community Foundation breaks ground on new home on donated lot
The Yampa Valley Community Foundation broke ground on a 3,500-square foot space at Fourth and Oak streets Wednesday, July 20, 2022 that executive director Tim Wohlgenant said will become home for the long-running philanthropic organization.
“It will look just like a house so that it will fit right into that Oak Street historic neighborhood,” Wohlgenant said. “It will have a large gathering space on the second floor that we will let all nonprofits use at no cost.”
The rest of the space will house the organization’s seven staff members, and in the short term, Wohlgenant said YVCF will also be offering a few extra offices that will be made available to local nonprofits on a reservation system.
“I think the bigger draw is that conference room. It will seat 30 people, so it’s fairly large,” Wohlgenant said. “There are lots of meeting spaces in Steamboat, but it seems like after-hours access is one of the challenges that nonprofits continue to run into.”
The building lot was donated to the organization by Boyd Bass and Barbara Winternitz. Once that happened, Wohlgenant said, the YVCF spent the next year putting together a feasibility study — which included talking with other nonprofits about what they would like to see in the building, what the organization could build to meet those needs, and how much that would cost.
Wohlgenant said the YVCF has outgrown its current space, which it leases. Owning the space will also eliminate the uncertainty associated with leasing, and will improve the organization’s financial position while providing much needed room for staff growth serving the immediate and future needs of YVCF.
Before starting, the YVCF made sure its capitol campaign, which raised the $3 million to construct the building, had a minimal impact on the fundraising efforts of other nonprofits in the area.
“The board approved us going ahead with the campaign last November, and we reached our goal a couple weeks ago,” Wohlgenant said. “We raised the $3 million needed to construct the building in pretty short time from November to about basically the end of June.”
He said with the permits in place construction of the new building is set to begin, and the hope is to move into the new building by August 2023.
When completed Wohlgenant said the building will not only serve the community, but set an example for sustainability.
“We are including some sustainability features in the building,” Wohlgenant said. “We’re doing a lot on insulation and we’re doing triple pane windows — but I think one of the most significant things is we’re doing a ground source heat pump that provides both heating and cooling for the building by using the temperature of the earth.”
Wohlgenant said the YVCF has been serving Steamboat Springs since 1979 when it was formed by a group of local citizens to save the financially troubled Yampa Valley College, which is now Colorado Mountain Colleges Alpine campus.
According to the YVCF website, the organization stewards nearly 200 funds including Donor Advised Funds, Scholarship Funds, Endowment Funds, Nonprofit Agency Funds and Field of Interest Funds. The Board of Trustees and staff of the Community Foundation continually form partnerships, advocate solutions and allocate resources for a better tomorrow for the Yampa Valley.
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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