Published in the Durango Herald on August 17, 2015
In general, it’s considered a good sign when an organization outgrows its space, and that’s certainly the case for the Durango Adaptive Sports Association and its building at Purgatory Resort. “We actually outgrew it 20 years ago,” said Tim Kroes, executive director of ASA, which serves people with cognitive and physical disabilities. “We’ve been having conversations with Purgatory for years about building our own building, and they were willing to donate a piece of land, but the infrastructure’s not installed yet in that area.”
The staff members and board of directors finally realized the timing for a new building is so far out, work needed to be done to the current building to carry them to the time when they can build their own facility.
“It will happen at some point,” Kroes said. “This is a temporary solution that may carry us for five years, eight years, maybe 10 years. It’s a more immediate solution that was very cost-effective.”
ASA did some fundraising, but the addition is being built in large part with the help of Jerry Pope and Emil Wanatka, owners of Timberline Builders. Wanatka sits on the ASA board. They have recruited in-kind and material donations that are bringing the costs to less than 50 cents on the dollar.
Without all the donations and in-kind work, Kroes estimates the total cost of the addition would have been about $130,000 to $140,000. However, because of all the assistance ASA has received, the final price tag for the group will be about $65,000 to $70,000, he said.
“People would come in and say, ‘This is what we can donate,’” said Ann Marie Meighan, program director of Adaptive Sports. “Then they’d come back to us and say, ‘We actually want to do more. What can we do?’”
The nonprofit is adding about 952 square feet, nearly doubling the usable space to the old 1,000-square-foot building, which was a Forest Service cabin built in 1942.
Meighan is most excited about the new utility room, which will house a washer and dryer and accessible shower, but having enough cabinet space in the kitchen will also be a welcome change.
The building’s also going to be safer, she said, because the Durango Fire Protection District helped install fire sprinklers throughout the building, including in the older sections…