Christian Center of Park City to have new home
When you’re in the business of accepting and passing on donations, it’s easy to find yourself overrun with food, furniture and flannels.
The Christian Center of Park City on Iron Horse Drive used to have several meeting rooms. You wouldn’t be able to tell with all the tables and freezers full of meat. A year ago, the staff started talking about all the services the center could offer if they had more space.
It’s been a long process, but shortly after Christmas the Christian Center will move into the old U.S. Bank building at 1283 Deer Valley Drive with three floors for its bookstore, thrift shop and food pantry with plenty of room left over to hold meetings, said executive director Tim Dahlin.
When the center started 10 years ago, its lease was for 3,000 square feet. After a decade of helping the hungry, impoverished and lonely, the center now takes up 7,500 square feet. The U.S. Bank building is 13,000.
An obvious reason for the bigger space, Dahlin explains, is the Tuesday-night dinners for the international workers. Held weekly from December to March, it isn’t unusual for 300 people to attend. Last season he guesses they turned away 50 people some nights to avoid violating the fire code. The new space will fit twice as many tables.
About 1,000 square feet will be allocated for a counseling center. Shepherd’s Staff is a Salt Lake City-based service that sends two counselors up to Park City on a part-time basis. Now they’ll have permanent offices and will serve full time, he said.
Rooms will also be made available for weekly meetings of Celebrate Recovery a Christian-based program to help addicts battle substance abuse.
Helping to pay rent, the center will sublease on Sundays to St. John’s Anglican Church (formerly at Quarry Village), to a Baptist congregation, and monthly to a Spanish-language outreach program.
The size of the food pantry will double. No less than 1,200 pounds of food are delivered daily from six local grocery stores, he said.
The money for the renovation of 1283 Deer Valley Drive is half pledged and half loaned, Dahlin explained, so the center will be ready to move in the week between Christmas and New Year. To get out of the red, the center has a year to raise roughly $200,000 and is requesting donations from the community.
Dahlin doesn’t quite have enough fingers to count all the services the Christian Center provides to the community 12 months a year, but he summarizes his mission as giving people something to get involved in.
The other day he met a new neighbor in Pinebrook who has lived in the area for two years and still doesn’t feel a part of the community.
"People are here, but not really here," Dahlin said.
With so many services offered, there are many ways to volunteer and get involved in a positive way, he said.
Tim Henney and his wife Katherine own the new building. Henney said it was partly a business move because he knew Dahlin would be a good tenant after Summit Sotheby’s left several months ago. Also, he said, it’s nice to do business with people you respect and who offers valuable service.
"It’s a good fit from a business standpoint, and it’s a feel-good move as well," he said.
Rent in the new facility will actually be slightly less than what the center pays now, Dahlin said.
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Councilor Glenn Wright estimated that the ability to provide renewable energy sources for county power will cost the average Summit County resident $0.70 per year above current costs.