ELHI Community Center revives old school

A look inside on of the classrooms the Dancing Spirit Community Arts Center is now operating out of at ELHI Community Center. Six non-profit organizations are now calling the old elementary home and will be hosting a Grand Opening Friday, Oct. 30.
The ELHI Board hopes to clean up the garden so it can be used for the community.
Sacha Smith | The Southern Ute Drum
Sacha Smith | The Southern Ute Drum

 

As of September 1 the ELHI (Education Literacy Health Inspiration) Community Center has been up and running providing services to community children and families. Though the tenants are still settling in, anticipation is building as the community center approaches it’s Oct. 30 grand opening.

“We’re rockin and rollin,” Raymond Dunton ELHI Tenant Association Board Chairman said.

The community center is located at the old Ignacio Elementary and houses six non-profit anchor tenants – Dancing Spirit Community Arts Center, Hope Community Christian Academy, Ignacio Community Church, La Plata County Independent Youth Performing Arts, Silver SPRUCE Academy, and SUCAP Youth Services.

“They have all been good neighbors in the community, now they’re all roommates,” Dunton said.

All the tenants are unique in the services they provide, but they all share a common goal – to assist the community, he said.

“It’s neat to see how everyone is working together … there was a lot of trust knowing that they’re much bigger than one organization,” he said.

Another important part of the deal for the tenants moving in was they provide services to K-12 grades students, he said.

Each tenant has a number of classrooms set aside for their organization, but lines are being crossed – willingly – and in a good way Dunton said.

“There is a lot of sharing space now … they all have good working relationships,” he said.

Kasey Correia, of Dancing Spirit Community Arts Center also said the different classrooms help to better organize Dancing Spirit’s activities.

SUCAP’s Youth Services is already taking advantage of the space. They are currently working on a middle school production of Sleepy Hollow and a Halloween Haunted House that will be open to the public.

Dunton said the community center has so much to offer, he just wants the community to know what it is available to them.

Besides the services provided by tenants, ELHI has multi-purpose room and kitchen area available for public use, he said.

One particular site Dunton is exited about is the Secret Garden. It sits in the middle of the campus overrun by weeds and untamed plants, but once it is cleaned up it will be another site available to the public.

Everyone is welcome to the official grand opening Friday, Oct. 30 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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