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Grant pushes HCOA yurt expansion towards finish line

Homer Council on the Arts

The Homer Council on the Arts is one step closer to fully funding its yurt project. The Rasmuson Foundation is awarding the council $130,000 to help cover construction costs.

The yurt, which will be added onto HCOA’s main building, will comfortably fit 200 people and will hold a variety of classes, workshops and events. HCOA Executive Director Peggy Paver said it was incredibly uplifting to hear the Rasmuson would fund such an exciting project.

“There’s been a longtime need in the community of Homer for a medium-sized performance venue or a medium-sized space that is usable by the community for lots of different things,” Paver explained.

The yurt is part of a larger project to upgrade and expand the space HCOA offers to the community. The non-profit also plans to renovate other parts of its offices to make more space available for rent.

The yurt expansion is expected to run about $475,000, but the council is nearing the finishing line. It has about $175,000 left to raise. Paver anticipates HCOA will receive another grant in the spring and hopes to raise the rest of the money through community support.

Paver noted that the overall price tag for the yurt was higher than initially expected.

“Once we got into that engineering phase, we ran into a fair amount of problems that we had to troubleshoot,” she said.

HCOA hopes to break ground on the project next June.

Renee joined KBBI in 2017 as a general assignment reporter and host. Her work has appeared on such shows as Weekend Edition Saturday, The World, Marketplace and Studio 360. Renee previously interned as a reporter for KPCC in Los Angeles and as a producer for Stateside at Michigan Radio. Her work has earned her numerous press club awards. She holds an M.S. in journalism from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in women's studies from the University of Michigan.