In 2015, the Telluride Foundation Grants Committee started making grants for regional capital projects along with its annual traditional general operating and programmatic grants. The Foundation staff fully vets potential capital applications and works with applicants to complete a comprehensive readiness assessment prior to organizations applying for funding. Since 2015, the Foundation has funded almost $500,000 in grants for successful capital projects, which were leveraged with over $6.5 million in additional grants and fundraising to complete a total of eight projects. A sampling of these projects includes: the new Norwood Lone Cone Library; Telluride Adaptive Sports Program’s new building; Telluride Nordic Association’s new snow cat for grooming; and the Ouray Wright Opera House remodel.
This December, the Grants Committee awarded the Ah Haa School for the Arts with a $100,000 grant to help construct its new 10,000 sq. ft. facility in the heart of downtown Telluride. The total estimated cost to purchase and finish out the project is $9.3M, and Ah Haa has raised $8.3M to date.
Construction is well underway, with an estimated move-in date of Spring 2020. With the underground parking structure complete and the elevator shaft and internal stairwell now visible from the street, excitement and anticipation is increasing every day.
In the meantime, Ah Haa staff is working closely with their contractor and consultants to thoughtfully design the interior spaces of the building. The new facility will feature dedicated adult and youth art studios, a teaching kitchen, a ceramics lab with gas kiln, a small dedicated gallery, and a top floor community room with adjacent rooftop deck, among other amenities. This project will provide Telluride with increased cultural vibrancy and the Ah Haa School with increased visibility, propelling its success into the future.