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Scraps from Coolfont renovations being reused

December 17, 2007|By TRISH RUDDER

 BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. ? Riding through Coolfont and passing the vacant buildings and rental units brings back memories of a different time for many. Memories can be saved, but the old buildings being razed for renovations cannot.

Rather than bulldozing the structures and throwing away "what used to be" into the landfill, Carl M. Freeman Cos., the new property owner, is in the process of donating what can be used.

Carrie Jenkins, project coordinator for Freeman, said the contents of 42 of the existing Coolfont structures went to various organizations, included the Tri-State Re-Use Center in nearby Hancock.

"The idea from the beginning was the materials were to be reused and not go into a landfill. Last March, we held an auction and the rest was donated," Jenkins said.

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All of the buildings' internal fixtures, such as the vanities, sinks, toilets, kitchen fixtures, doors, lights, hardware, hinges and interior walls, were donated to the center.

Jenkins said Tri-State Re-Use Center volunteers began dismantling and removing the contents late last summer.

She said there are 16 two-bedroom chalets that are left to be dismantled, which will be done in 2008, and the contents will be donated.

"We are doing everything we can to have the materials reused and minimize adding to the landfills."

The Tri-State Re-Use Center accepts new and used building materials, including doors, windows, plumbing fixtures, flooring, paint and electrical supplies and hardware, said Hope Cucina-Hargett, director of the center.

The Re-Use Center is good for everyone in the Tri-State area, Cucina-Hargett said.

"People can donate their reusable items, and they are keeping the items out of the landfills, and those who need the items can find them here at a fraction of the cost. It's a win-win," she said.

Cucina-Hargett said people do not need to call in advance to donate items.

"Our message to all the Tri-State area is that you can save natural resources, money, time, and most importantly, landfill space," she said.

"The spirit of community is the true value here," Jenkins said. "The Re-Use Center is a great partner with this project."

Carrie Jenkins, project coordinator with Carl M. Freeman Cos., used to travel with her grandparents to Coolfont Resort and camp during the summer when she was a girl.

"People call me and are interested in what is happening with the Coolfont property," she said. "They want to know when the outdoor amenities will be available, like the hiking trails and sightseeing, or the use of the lake for canoeing or swimming."

Jenkins said, "I have the same childhood memories, and I understand why they are interested in Coolfont's future."

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