Church of the Eternal Hills breaks ground on new youth, community center

Though fundraising and investing in a $1 million project initially seemed daunting during a pandemic, Pastor Paula Steinbacher of the Church of the Eternal Hills was motivated to build on recent efforts to support the community through tough times.

Steinbacher, church members, Grand County commissioners, Munn Architecture and Chillcoots gathered Wednesday to break ground on a new youth and community space at the church in Tabernash.

“We pray we can honor you by providing space for our community that will offer a safe and welcoming environment where we can share our belief that everyone, absolutely everyone, is a precious child of yours,” Steinbacher prayed before the ground breaking.

The center is part of the church’s Project 2020, which will transform its unfinished basement into a gathering space with amenities such as a kitchen, bathrooms with showers, and an assembly room with a stage and audio/visual equipment.

Steinbacher explained the church reached out during the planning process to Grand County Public Health, local schools and police departments, among other people and agencies, to find out what needs the community has that the church could help fill.

One need Steinbacher felt the church could provide is a safe space for children after school. Other potential uses include a nonprofit meeting space and a place to host overnight youth groups.

Once the space is complete, it will be open to anyone, not just congregation members, Steinbacher said. Construction is expected to be done by the end of the year.

“There are so many people who want to do good without being a part of a church so we want to provide those opportunities because … in the end it benefits everyone in the community,” Steinbacher said. “Plus, it’s part of our theology to help our community.”

Fundraising and a $121,000 grant from the Denver Presbytery helped pay for the project. The church is hoping for similar success on the second phase of construction, which would focus on improving the existing preschool area and adding space for counseling and adult education.

The second phase is scheduled for 2023.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.

Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.

If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.