Last month, in the crisp air and green woods at the top of Rib Mountain, the Friends of Rib Mountain gathered to break ground for their new Enclosed Shelter; a project they have spent the last three years dreaming of and raising funds to build. Excitement filled the air as they pushed shovels into the ground to formalize the start of construction to build the center.
“It’s a very exciting day,” said President, Sheryl Hemp. “We’re just so enthusiastic about the support along the way.”
This center is something that the group said is needed in the park, especially after the old enclosed shelter was torn down.
“I think it’s a little bit of the missing piece,” said Director, Paula Voss.
Jay Johnson, Ellis architect, has been working with the group for over a year to design a facility that provides space for meetings and gatherings, meets the budget, and does not conflict with the surrounding environment. The Enclosed Shelter will include a large multi-purpose space, lobby, restrooms, and storage areas. Once it’s complete, people can reserve it for events like weddings, parties, business meetings, and classes.
Johnson said the building features an architectural style that is complementary to the adjacent Ranger Station. The clearing of the land was done carefully to preserve as many of the trees as possible so that the building is nestled in the woods.
Work began last year with the site being cleared and now concrete is being poured to form the foundation. The facility should be finished by the end of August 2016.
The Friends of Rib Mountain continue to work to improve the park for everyone’s use. Ellis is proud to be working with this group. We would like to encourage you to learn more about their work and how you can be involved in this community-building organization.