Five years ago Dick Dreissigacker and Judy Geer purchased the Craftsbury Outdoor Center and reorganized the iconic cross-country touring and rowing center as a nonprofit with a three-part mission:
- to support and promote participation and excellence in lifelong sports with a special focus on rowing, Nordic skiing, and running;
- to use and teach sustainable practices; and
- to protect and manage the surrounding land, lake and trails.
And in that time, quiet changes have happened to meet that mission. This month, the outdoor center has broken ground on a net-zero activity lodge and fitness center, scheduled to open in the spring. The new building will replace the existing touring center.
A press release on the project states:
The Center is committed to becoming carbon neutral. To that end, the new facility will be built with as much local wood as possible. Hot water for the buildings will come from waste heat generated by the Center’s snowmaking system.
The new four-season lodge will include an event space, bike shop, cafe, fitness room and ski waxing area. The building's two wings will be connected by a large central deck. The press release states the new building will generate its own power.
The new facility will rely on passive ventilation for the distribution of heat instead of a conventional, energy-intensive heating and ventilation system. There will be state-of-the-art composting toilets. The building roof will support more than 3,000 square feet of photovoltaic solar panels to supply power to the building, with any surplus applied to the rest of the energy needs of the Center.
The lodge will be under construction throughout the fall and winter, with an anticipated opening in May 2014.