LIFT-UP gets funds for new building

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LIFT-UP of Routt County has received a $285,000 grant to help build a 8,100-square-foot building for its Steamboat offices.

The building would result in a permanently owned, central location for the offices. Now, LIFT-UP has three rented locations across the city.

"It's going to be way less confusing for everybody to know one place to go," said David Freseman, executive director for LIFT-UP.

The Routt County Board of Commissioners sponsored the organization in the grant application.

"It's good that we're able to bring some outside dollars ... to help provide for community needs like this," Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger said.

Before the grant from the Department of Local Affairs is awarded, there are several requirements LIFT-UP must meet, Freseman said. Those include submitting environmental assessments, publishing legal notices, making a grant contract with DOLA and more.

"There's a lot to accomplish in the next four to six weeks to get this money in hand," he said.

The cost of the project is about $900,000. The grant would pay for the cost of the 1-acre lot on Curve Court that LIFT-UP plans to purchase.

LIFT-UP hopes to make up the remaining funds through a capital fund drive. Already, it has raised $150,000 by asking members of its board of directors, staff and volunteers, as well as a few other residents, to make donations.

It is seeking another $350,000 in donations and in-kind work on the construction of the building, Freseman said.

In the next few months, LIFT-UP will make an appeal to its supporting churches and to the general community.

Remaining costs can be achieved through applying for grants this summer and fall, Freseman said.

If all goes according to schedule, construction would begin in July and the building would be finished by the end of 2005.

The building will provide enough space for the organization's Steamboat food bank, food bank office and storage, donation center, thrift store, administrative offices and more.

The organization's satellite offices in Hayden and Oak Creek also will stay open.

Such a building has been a long-range goal for the organization for a couple of years.

Anyone interested in making a donation can call LIFT-UP at 870-0727 or mail a donation to LIFT-UP, P.O. Box 881145, Steamboat Springs, CO 80488.

-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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