Project News

St. Mary's grounds master planning - meeting notes

Following up on Dora's post, here are the notes from the brainstorming during last Thursday's meeting; this represents everyone's ideas but not necessarily the final result. (Thanks to Emanuel for typing up the notes!)

Landscaping the St. Mary's Grounds: Masterplanning!

A group of interested individuals met this past week to begin creating a masterplan for the use of the St. Mary’s grounds. Group brainstorming led to lists of design objectives and specific design components.

Workshop building update

We've got a team working on setting up the workshop building on the NW corner of the property into a woodworking shop. There had been plans to do a work day this Sunday, but that has postponed. Here's why (from Roland):

So because the utilities to the building have been off for so long, Alliant has advised that we need to have an electrical contractor certify that the electrical is up to (the state) code, and have an hvac contractor certify the NG piping & fitting. Also, Connelly has not been able to drop off a dumpster yet.

Bonnell U update

We met yesterday to discuss the next steps for Bonnell University (BU), and we are excited about taking the next steps to making this educational alternative available to more people in the near future. (For more info on BU, go to

Attendees: Anna Bruen, Andrew Perry, Colin Heaton, Gabe Kretchmer, myself

What we talked about/next steps:

Images for site planning - St. Mary's property

Beginning the process of a site plan for St. Mary's property, gathering some base images for use by the group.

First image is from Avi Pogel, second is from the Jefferson County Assessors office (, third and forth are from a SketchUp drawing I threw together.

New Chicago meeting

New Chicago is the Fairfield neighborhood centered around 4th St. between the railroad tracks and Hempstead Ave. We had been approached by one of the property owners in this neighborhood to discuss possible collaboration with the St. Mary's project, so last night we met with three of the property owners to begin that discussion.

In attendance were: Andrew Perry, Channing Congdon, Kyla Utegaard, Emanuel Schachinger and myself representing BBP/St. Mary's, and New Chicago property owners Rob Davidson, Paul Glossop and Victor Tichy.

Organizing the Kitchen Team

Initial introductions of contributors and tours of the kitchen have taken place, building on the already mounting excitement of producing food for our community with emphasis on high love content. Current creations envisioned include croissants, pastries, specialty cakes, bagels and bread made by your friends and neighbors. A community food sharing concept is incubating and holds great potential for local gardeners/farmers to put their produce to good work in the hands of caring and knowledgeable culinary artists.

Tiny Homes

There are a bunch of people involved in our project interested in building and living in tiny homes, including Victor Orne, Zoe Kivio, Taylor Ross, Andrew Perry, and Jim Cassidy (check out the house he's building).

Taylor wants to build one for the Beauty Shop Music Residency Program.

Bonnell University

Bonnell University has been going on for some time informally, and we now have a team working on making it more explicitly available for people to plug into. Here is my take on what it is.