Basalt’s Red Brick conversion will boil down to finding the financing
A group that wants to turn the Red Brick school building in Basalt into a home for nonprofits, artists and kid-oriented uses got a philosophical nod from the downvalley school board yesterday. Now comes the hard part.The conversion of the school will hinge on the proponents’ ability to raise private funds to install a new roof and make other improvements.”The economics of it worry me, but I guess you guys have been worrying about it, too,” Roaring Fork School District Board of Education member Peter Delaney told a group promoting the idea.The school building, one of three on the Basalt Elementary campus, is going to be decommissioned in September 2006. The school district is undertaking a $9.2 million remodeling and addition that will use only one of the existing buildings.School district officials vowed during a campaign last fall for a property tax increase to pay for school improvements that they would give Basaltines time to propose a plan for converting the Red Brick building into a community facility.Suzanne Wheeler-Del Piccolo, the spokeswoman for the group and principal of Basalt Elementary, said they see it as a place where midvalley artists can rent studio space to work on their creations and hold shows. They see it as a place where some overlooked sports, like gymnastics and karate, find permanent meeting space. They see it as a center for preschool centers like Growing Years and after-school programs like Camp Chip-a-Tooth. It could also provide office space for youth-oriented uses like the Aspen Counseling Center, Youth Zone and the Buddy Program, all of which will lose space on the elementary campus due to the remodeling.”If space is available it will be filled, I guarantee you that,” said Basalt Mayor Leroy Duroux. Midvalley nonprofits are often in a “desperate situation” seeking affordable office space, he said.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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