The Surface Creek Senior Citizens organization has pledged a $100,000 cash donation to the Hunsicker Elementary School kitchen renovation project.
During a presentation to the Orchard City Town Board on Oct. 9, Cedaredge Town Administrator Katie Sickles announced the pledge.
Sickles was asking the Orchard City trustees for political support of the Hunsicker renovation project.
Rick Mills, board president of the seniors' organization, confirmed that the pledge is for an all-cash contribution.
By any measure, the Surface Creek Senior Citizens' pledge is a remarkable and noteworthy example of stepping up and taking responsibility for public programs and facilities that directly benefit their own constituents and members.
The DCI first reported on the Hunsicker project last July. At that time, several local governments and agencies were meeting in preliminary discussions on the idea. Delta County and the Town of Cedaredge had each given $5,000 to the project, and Region 10 grants for it totaled an additional $10,000. The money was to be for planning, design and hiring a grant writer to find additional funds for the renovation.
Since then, a grant writer has been retained. She is Ida Walden, a resident of Orchard City. Walden said the Surface Creek Seniors' $100,000 pledge will provide the matching funds needed to help attract a hoped-for additional $700,000 to $800,000 grant funding that will be sought for the project.
According to Walden, preliminary design work on the refurbished Hunsicker kitchen is being done under supervision of School District 51, one of the project partners. The district owns the former Hunsicker Elementary School building.
When preliminary design work is completed and initial cost estimates are made, Walden said, the actual grant application process can begin.
The project's goal is to eventually create a facility that will provide the following:
• A place for seniors to have congregate noon meals in Cedaredge;
• A commercial kitchen that Volunteers of America can use for meal preparation to serve all of its Delta County meal sites, and possibly the Olathe site also. The idea would achieve in part the operational goals VOA had envisioned in its "Harvest Plan" concept;
• A community room that will be available for various activities and events under school district administration.
The Town of Cedaredge, along with the other partnering agencies, expects to benefit directly from the project. The town wants eventually to develop a new complex to house government administrative and police department operations. New construction has been pegged at $3-plus million.
If the town can find a way to use a remodeled Community Center instead of building new, money would be saved. By relocating the current Community Center kitchen and dining room uses to a renovated Hunsicker facility, cost to the town for its hoped-for civic operations center will be cut dramatically, officials believe.
School superintendent Caryn Gibson and district facilities director John McHugh were present for the Orchard City presentation. Gibson confirmed the school board is supporting the project concept.blog comments powered by Disqus