For more than 30 years, the Adaptive Sports Center in Crested Butte, Colorado, has been helping veterans and people with disabilities go on therapeutic recreation adventures. Now the group is finally getting the building – and the space – it deserves, so it can amp up its offerings and help even more people.
The nonprofit organization, located in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, is constructing a new building all its own. For the past decade, the organization knew it was running short on space, but real estate at the base of Crested Butte Mountain Resort is expensive and hard to come by, so it’s taken a while to turn dreams into reality.
Two years ago, the organization purchased land and began raising funds. Now the 25,000-square-foot building is just months from opening, and leaders of the ASC can hardly wait.
“A lot of work has gone into this new building,” said Brian Barker, Marketing Manager for the ASC. “Our community has been hugely supportive, and we’re lucky to have help from a lot of really generous people and organizations that are both local to the Crested Butte area and across the country. We received donations from local individuals to major foundations and organizations – like Viega – who want to help out, because so many people believe in helping people.”
Viega helped this project by donating ProPress fittings for the plumbing. In total, in-kind donations for the construction efforts totaled more than $1 million, and Viega had a hand in it. Not only does the donation of ProPress fittings help monetarily, but ASC Executive Director Chris Hensley said it also helps by saving the contractors time – which also equals money.
The schedule for construction of the building was only 13 months, so there was no time to waste. During planning, there were lots of conversations about how to save the ASC money, and ProPress was one solid option.
Alpha Mechanical Solutions, LLC, out of Gunnison, Colorado, was hired to plumb the building, and Fred Niederer, a managing member of Alpha Mechanical, was already familiar with Viega and with ProPress.
“Viega’s training facility in Nashua [New Hampshire] made it possible to see the entire product line and made it easy to justify setting up our first ProPress tool seven years ago,” he said. “Our second press tool was a matter of necessity, based on how often we use the Viega system.
“ProPress was really great for this project because it had a very tight time frame and I couldn’t think of a better product to use. The time-savings method over standard joining is huge.”
Alpha Mechanical had between 15 and 20 workers on the project to plumb nearly a mile of copper lines. The copper with ProPress fittings is for hot, cold-and-hot-water recirculation lines, as well as hydronic lines, some variable-air-volume units, some in-floor heating and a little snowmelt.
“This has been press and go. Easy,” Niederer said.
The building is officially named the Kelsey Wright Building. Kelsey was a longtime participant of the ASC. After she died her parents gave a generous gift to the organization in her honor to help get the fundraising project started. Barker said her family “really believed in what we do and what we did for her,” and they wanted to share it with others.
The four-story building (plus basement) will allow the ASC to double its capacity. Previously, the organization only had the ability to offer overnight accommodations for a group of 15-20 people at a time, at a lodge in town. The new building will have housing on the third floor to allow for a second group to be served at the same time.
The facility is ski-in, ski-out, and fully accessible for all participants no matter their ability. Groups of participants come from various hospitals, VA medical centers, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and more.
There are other activities and amenities within the Kelsey Wright building as well, including an indoor rock- climbing wall, programming area and kitchen facilities. Within the basement there will be lockers that can be rented out as an additional revenue stream for the ASC, and there is an area for participants to be fitted with their skis or other apparatuses before they head out.
Adventures through the ASC don’t just happen in the winter either. There are activities like canoeing, cycling, hiking and mountain climbing in the summer, or skiing, snowshoeing and ice climbing in the winter.
Founded in 1987, and originally known as the Physically Challenged Ski Program of Crested Butte, 33 lessons were given during the first winter by an all-volunteer staff. Today, more than 6,000 lessons are provided to more than 700 individuals each year. The team includes 15 board members, 14 full-time staff, more than 25 professional instructors and hundreds of volunteers. The main focus is on the long-term impact of programming on participants, aiming to get – and keep – them more physically active.