New Lopez thrift shop building construction starts

“Breaking ground for the thrift shop” with, from left to right, Bill Brimmer (with shovel), Dick Peal, Craig Vaughn and Maria Armstrong (with shovel).

After a prolonged and sometimes torturous permitting process, construction has begun on the new Lopez Thrift Shop building. Site preparation will be followed by the pouring of a concrete slab foundation and then the building. When the Board of Directors first launched this project in July of 2006, the Thrift Shop, serving the needs of the community since 1982, had earned and returned approximately $500,000 to Lopez charitable causes. Since the building fund drive commenced, we have continued to contribute money to the many worthwhile island causes while also saving a portion of the earnings for the new building. In just three short years we have raised approximately $80,000 more, a tribute to store volunteers, Lopezian shoppers and private contributors.

The 70 person, all volunteer staff and others are excited about the Thrift Shop’s future. Our new building, designed by local architect Oswaldo Mino, will be located just north of the Lopez Village Market. It will have ample space for retail sales, merchandise preparation, storage, and parking. But before the doors of the new building open there is still much to do including additional fund-raising, a tough job in this economy, to help lessen our future mortgage payments, as well as finding volunteers to finish the interior and exterior. While electrical wiring, plumbing and sheet-rocking must be done by licensed contractors, it is hoped that folks with experience in painting, and other detailing, will volunteer their skills.

Clearly, Lopez has a history of dedicated and talented people stepping forward to help in time of need. Ten years ago the Community Center and, more recently, the affordable housing projects and the Woodmen Hall/Senior Center were all largely constructed or modified by Lopez volunteers.

For sake of our less fortunate Lopez neighbors who benefit so much from our sales revenue, please consider giving to the building fund and/or donating your talents to the building completion. The sooner we complete the building, while at the same time minimizing construction costs, the faster the Lopez Thrift Shop can earn and return more money to the community. This is certainly a win-win project for the community.