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April 03, 2012 7:41 am

EDITORIAL: Building projects depend on community’s involvement

Written by Tessa Schweigert

Wednesday night meetings for fairgrounds building, Habitat for Humanity home

It’s been said that if you build it, they will come. For two construction projects in Powell’s future, a more appropriate saying is: Before you build it, they must come.

This week, Powell residents have a chance to get involved with two exciting building projects on the horizon — a new multi-purpose building at the Park County Fairgrounds and a Habitat for Humanity home in Powell.

The proposed projects have little in common. One is a multimillion dollar public building for large groups of people, and the other is an affordable home for a low-income family. Though much different in scope, both building projects need community involvement to move forward.

Meetings on both projects will take place Wednesday night.

Park County Commissioners will gather public input on the proposed $4 million multi-purpose building during a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the fairgrounds’ needlework building (also called the small exhibit hall).

The new multi-purpose building will replace the 17,000 square feet of space provided by three main buildings that the county fair has depended on for decades. One of those buildings, the large exhibit hall, was demolished last year because it was structurally unsound. The other two — the small exhibit hall and arts and crafts hall — are still safe to use, but are about the same age.

A new multi-purpose building will be an asset to the fairgrounds and to the entire community. Various events take place at the fairgrounds year-round — church functions, wedding receptions, flea markets, school activities and auctions, to name a few.

Commissioners want to hear your thoughts as they decide how to move forward with the project. Share your views on the proposed building’s size, $4 million price tag and design features. It’s a publicly-funded building for public use, so the public needs to get involved.

Across town on Wednesday night, Mountain Spirit Habitat for Humanity will host an orientation meeting at 6 p.m. at its ReStore. The meeting provides information for families and individuals who may want to apply for a home through Habitat for Humanity.

The nonprofit organization builds homes of modest size with the help of volunteer labor and donated building materials. The family who is selected for the home will have a zero-interest mortgage and must contribute 500 hours in “sweat equity” toward the home.

This is the first time in more than five years that Habitat for Humanity is building a home in Powell, and we know it will greatly bless a local family or individual. While this week’s meeting is an orientation for families who may live in the house, others can get involved in the project as volunteers.

Both of these building projects will benefit our community for years to come. Now it’s up to local residents to take the next step and get involved.

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