The closing of the elementary school in town had many impacts and created some opportunities as well. An Elementary school is a kind of social bulletin board, where people congregate to discuss happenings around town, school events, and build community bonds. With the school closed, such networks were lost, but there remained a 22,000 square foot building ripe with potential to address many shortcomings in the town’s infrastructure.
Working with the Grand County Economic Development Agency, the first priority was to create the ability to extend the summer season with conference, and special events hosted at the newly coined ”Grand Lake Center”. A five year commitment from “The Disney Way”, an organization specializing in customer service training, provided the impetus to get the conference center/community center up and running immediately, but within the balance of the building, classrooms for continuing education and art instruction, as well as a cooking school, an exercise facility a yoga studio, and locker rooms, showers and bathrooms to serve the users. The building could then act as the hub of social networking within the community as it once had.