Aspen Community Church closes for roof work
ASPEN – Aspen Community Church is temporarily closing its 120-year-old building starting Monday for critical roof stabilization construction.Planning for an extensive restoration of the iconic 1890 landmark building has been under way for several years, but a report issued on Friday from Patillo Associates Engineers put the church on notice. After months of engineering inspections and analysis of the building, Patillo concluded that the roof needs immediate stabilization, and that the sanctuary and fellowship hall are no longer safe for occupancy.”Public safety is our first concern, so the building will close immediately,” said David Ellis, chair of the church’s administrative council.”In an ideal schedule, we would not be starting this project in winter,” trustee Fonda Paterson said in a press release. “But the urgency is real since the long-term viability of this treasured historic building is at stake.”The emergency roof repair is expected to cost more than $50,000.”This is an earlier start to our fund drive than originally anticipated, but we see it as an opportunity to jump-start the campaign,” capital fund drive chair Ramsey Kropf said.She said the total project is a huge financial challenge for the small congregation. The next stage of the remodel will include a new roof, tuck point repair and drainage issues and will cost $1.5 million. Phase II will tackle upgrades to the mechanical and electrical systems and is estimated at an additional $1.2 million.Pastor Jane Keener-Quiat, who is returning Monday from a mission trip to Kenya, can be contacted at 970-925-1571 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Contributions can also be mailed to Aspen Community Church, 200 E. Bleeker St., Aspen, CO 81611.The church building serves as home to many community programs, including free Aspen Music Festival & School student recitals three times a week in the summer, a winter concert series, AA and NA groups, music lessons, yoga classes, a Spanish language congregation, Aspen Choral Society practices, theater practice and numerous special events. The church provides a homeless shelter in April after St. Mary’s shelter closes and was the home of the Lift-Up office for 25 years.”We take the community part of our name seriously,” Paterson said, “and we look forward to welcoming everyone back in early 2011.”
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