Photo: From left to right: Kristin Fanch, Andrea Caflisch, Suzanne Fanch, Bob Fanch, Jim Myers, Nick Kutrumbos, Art Ferrari and Jeff Davidson.

On Saturday afternoon, community dignitaries, luminaries and curious locals attended the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the new Headwaters Ecology and Community Center in Winter Park. The 28,000 square foot facility, constructed primarily of wood reclaimed from a Civil War-era barn, features 3 levels and “has about another year before it is fully completed”, stated  Bob Fanch in opening remarks at the ribbon cutting event.

Local caterers including  Deno’s, Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Stone Creek and Wild Horse Catering provided samplings of their appetizers and desserts to guests, and singer/songwriter, Andy Straus, entertained the crowd with his musical stylings as visitors toured the Center.  

Winter Park Town Council member, Chris Seeman said, “This facility is a game changer.” The Headwaters Center is a world class facility. With two open levels, the Center provides the community with an exquisite new space for conferences, meetings and events. The grounds also offer direct access to trails and the Fraser River. Opening in 2019 and located on the ground level, the 4,400 square foot Water Ecology Center will feature informative exhibits focusing on water issues and the headwaters of the Colorado and Fraser Rivers, inspiring positive change for water conservation and river preservation.

The Headwaters Center will also offer educational opportunities to the community. The Higher Minds Loft on the upper level will provide interactive, technology-enhanced courses at the post-secondary and collegiate levels. Grand County Higher Education is collaborating with the Headwaters Center to build curriculum.

The Chef Evan Treadwell Culinary Center is a fully equipped, professional kitchen that will offer students the tools and resources needed to master the art of cooking gourmet delights. The Center will host their first Interactive Cooking Demonstration with Guest Chef John Leslie and the Devil’s Thumb Ranch Culinary Team on June 4th at 6 pm.

Just prior to the ribbon-cutting, Fanch thanked all the parties who helped make the Headwaters Center come to life. The Town of Winter Park donated the 9.3 acres where the facility is sited, and, Koelbel & Company donated rock utilized on the building exterior and additional land at the north end of the property which will help expand parking. Fanch introduced Scott Springston of Grand County Higher Education, and Scott gave an overview of the developing education plans for the future.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony included Bob Fanch, his wife, Suzanne, his niece, Kristin, Headwaters Center Manager, Andrea Caflisch, and members of the Winter Park Town Council Chris Seemann, Art Ferrari, Jim Myers, Mike Periolat and Mayor Pro-Tem, Nick Kutrumbos.