CONCHO VALLEY — It may have taken around five years for it to come to fruition, but the new Concho Community Center is going to open soon.
Leon Buttler with Concho CAN said the four modular buildings were purchased for $68,000. Concho CAN received the funds needed to purchase the buildings when he Mellon family donated a house to nonprofit that was sold. The funds generated from that sale were used to buy the buildings from a ski lodge in Lake Tahoe.
Concho CAN Board President Dan Thompson called the donation by the Melon family a “blessing.”
The modular buildings arrived Sept. 25, Buttler said adding that the square footage of all four buildings comes to a generous 3,068 feet.
“Two of our (17 X 52 foot) modulars did not have walls on them, so right now they just have heavy plastic sheeting on those openings,” Buttler said.
But fear not, because John Bell has donated his time and skill and is doing the needed framing for new walls and the plumbing that needs to be completed in all of the buildings. He also did the vast majority of the site prep before the modulars arrived.
Local licensed contractor Nephi Hytower has volunteered his services to make sure everything meets the required codes, Buttler said.
Buttler said they are putting in a basic kitchen to serve refreshments and hope to be able to in the near future have a full kitchen that will serve meals.
“The foundation is done and everything is hooked up and level,” he said. “And Apache County has inspected everything and approved it.”
Back in February the county board of supervisors approved waiving the $1,112 conditional use permit (CUP) fee for the center because it is a non-profit.
“It’s been a hard battle trying to get things for this project where they need to be,” said Thompson. “Apache County government has been very good to us, especially Community Development Director Devin Brown who has really guided us through this process.”
Buttler said the board has not forgotten that the center needs sustainability since it is a non-profit that will operate solely on public donations and what the center volunteers can raise. Butler said that in that regard they already have a bingo license in hand and are ready to get that going as soon as possible to get some money in the bank.
“We plan to have bingo one night a week in the beginning, probably on Mondays,” he said. “But if it goes well we might be able to have it two nights a week.”
Buttler said they also have a tentative date of Feb. 14 for a Valentine’s Day dance. In other words, Buttler and the others involved in the new community center have some big ideas to fund its operation and to make the community better through the center.
Buttler wanted to make sure to thank volunteers like Chris Brown with Concho Kitchens United for all his work, “tech guru” Andy Wilhelm from the Concho School for his services with wiring phones and putting in high-speed internet connectivity, Eileen Detzel for the sign in front of the center with the logo, Jon and Kate Dahl for donating the septic system, Mike Scott with Spring Mountain Materials for the cinders. Also helping out were Livco Water Company, Salt River Project, Brian King with 3K Lumber Builders First Source, and a man named Roy with All Around Clean Up who Butler said is an all around nice guy.
Buttler said another community member donated $1,000, but that person wants to remain anonymous. Butler said it is people like the ones who have donated to or volunteered for the project who make a huge difference in their communities.