2009 Washington Aggregates and Concrete Association award winners -- Seattle DJC.COM



Sustainable Merit

Photo courtesy of Ferndale Ready Mix & Gravel
The Second Chance Thrift Store is located in a reclaimed concrete school building.

Lynden Christian Schools
Second Chance Thrift Store

Location: Lynden

Owner/developer: Lynden Christian Schools

Project team: Jerry Roosma and Gerald Veltkamp, project team co-leaders; Chesmore|Buck Architecture, architect; Jones Engineers, structural engineer; Ferndale Ready Mix & Gravel, ready-mix supplier

Lynden Christian Schools parents got together about 15 years ago to create a thrift store to help raise funds for the school.

The store originally operated out of an old bus garage, but needed more space as it become more popular. Next door was a 1946 concrete school building that had been abandoned for about 10 years. It was made by volunteers after World War II who mixed sand, rock, water and cement, then pushed wheelbarrow loads up narrow plank ramps to the top of the 32-foot-tall forms.

Store organizers put a new roof on the old school, gutted the 9,000-square-foot gymnasium, and installed new concrete floors and entry ways. After relocating to the gym, the store’s sales quickly doubled and space was again at a premium.

More than half of the school’s classroom space was later gutted to make more room for the store. The additional 4,500 square feet of space was used for the store’s clothing and small household items section while the gym displays furniture and other large household items. Also, a new receiving area for donations was added.

A final phase finished last year by volunteers included replacing an aging asphalt parking lot with 45,000 square feet of concrete pavement and a new service entrance.

WACA members donating to the project included Concrete Nor’West, Van Boven Gravel, W.R. Grace and Propex Industries.

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