Sustainability Center alters plan |

Sustainability Center alters plan

CARBONDALE ” An organization in Carbondale is working on a plan to provide office space for environmentally-friendly nonprofits and businesses by the end of this decade.

The Sustainability Center of the Rockies will help the town of Carbondale with a “green redevelopment” of the old Carbondale Elementary School for a variety of community uses. The center is considering securing a wing of the building to make office space available to businesses and nonprofits that promote sustainability, said Doug Graybeal, president of the center’s board of directors.

The old elementary school building will provide up to 43,000 square feet for nonprofits of all types. The town of Carbondale acquired the building and the community has made its redevelopment a top priority.

The Sustainability Center shifted its focus to help with the redevelopment. It will help make the old school building as “green” as possible.

The Sustainability Center had been focused on developing its own campus before the opportunity to help with the elementary school came up. The center had a contract to buy vacant land from the Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale and develop a model campus and learning center. That contract has been terminated to let the center focus its time and money on the elementary school redevelopment.

“The concept is not scrapped at all,” said Graybeal. In fact, he said, shifting strategies might speed the availability of office space for green-oriented nonprofits.

The Sustainability Center might still pursue its own campus at some point. A wing in the old elementary school could be a “stepping stone” for the Sustainability Center, Graybeal said.

The Sustainability Center anticipates hiring an executive director next fall and will consider future community projects after the completion of the elementary school redevelopment.

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