Teen group receives hefty donation toward building renovation

By Staci Matlock
editor@taosnews.com
Posted 11/14/19

The nonprofit Common Grounds recently received a generous $50,000 donation toward renovating the former Children's Clinic on Cruz Alta Road that will become a café, store and gathering spot. Now the group hopes the community will match those funds with money or labor to help do the extensive work the building will need before it can officially open for use by Taos area youth ages 14-21.

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Teen group receives hefty donation toward building renovation

Posted

The nonprofit Common Grounds recently received a generous $50,000 donation toward renovating the former Children's Clinic on Cruz Alta Road that will become a café, store and gathering spot. Now the group hopes the community will match those funds with money or labor to help do the extensive work the building will need before it can officially open for use by Taos area youth ages 14-21.

Now "we want to leverage this donation to solicit a community match for the remainder of what we need to raise," said Jill Kline, one of the group's adult allies.

The work so far is a testament to collaboration from private and public partners. Kit Carson Electric Cooperative donated the building. Habitat for Humanity of Taos will serve as project manager for the building renovation once it is approved by the town and Phoenix Mechanical has offered to serve as the contractor of record, according to Kline.

Kline said the group has raised about $80,000 total toward what they expect will cost $120,000 to complete the building's retrofit and outfit it with appliances and furnishings.

"Our teen group comes from different schools in the area: Taos Academy, Taos High, Taos Middle, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and even some from University of New Mexico," according to the group's website. "We're a café because we plan to have a menu and be open to the public for light coffee shop-style breakfast and lunch items. Then in the afternoon and evenings, we'll have a 'menu of activities' for teens. Things like poetry slams, game rooms, snacks, study areas, music or a meditation room and teen art [space] as decorations and for sale."

They also plan to have showers and a minipantry for teens who are sometimes couch surfing or homeless.

Common Grounds was started by teens and adult allies after several young people in Taos died by suicide a few years ago.

Watch the Common Grounds video and donate at taoscommongrounds.org.

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