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2020 Solar Building Expansion

Blog Archive

From the beginning, plans for the co-op included the idea of expanding the building on the south side. Originally, a 10-foot wide solarium was considered for passive solar energy and to house dining in order to free up retail space. The board felt we needed more retail space, which moved the solar aspect to the roof. The decision was made to use solar energy to cover half of co-op's annual electric use, so the proposed expansion expanded to create a larger additional roof.

The covid pandemic allowed us the opportunity to do the work without interrupting daily operations, since shopping became dockside.

Most of the work for this project was done by dedicated volunteers. 

This page is a compilation of the blog posts published during the expansion work.

Photo of wood architectural model of original building and proposed expansion, shown from sothwest.
Photo of exterior of building's west side, with expansion closed in and roof on.
Architectural plan for existing building plus expansion.
Photo of south face of existing building with footings and floor joists for new expansion.

Aug 5, 2020

Progress on our new addition!

You may have noticed that our dedicated volunteers have been working tirelessly on the new addition. The floor joists are in and the walls are going up! Thank you so much to our hard-working volunteers!

Photo of expansion framed in and sheathed, with three people working on attaching the first two rafters.

Aug 12, 2020

Part of our original vision

Did you know that having solar and expanding the store to the south was part of the original vision for the co-op? Now more than ever, we see the importance of having a bit more space inside the store. Once the expansion is finished, we'll have a place to install our new solar panels. While the vision has changed some for practical reasons, we haven't stopped plugging on to meet the needs of our beautiful little community.

Photo of two people creating the south facade with faming lumber and 2x4s.

Aug 18, 2020

Roof rafters are going up!

Rafters are going up this week!!  Progress is moving along at a fast pace for our much needed addition.  Thanks so much to Kerry Holman, Mark Lankton, John Lovendahl, Kevin Sprager, and Jerry Boydston this past week for their beautiful craftsmanship. Also, many thanks to Al Geiser for donating the beams that were used for the headers over the windows.  We still gladly accept any monetary donations, needed building materials, and of course lunch, snacks, and sweets for our incredible volunteer workers. Thank you for your ongoing support!

Photo of south side of expansion with all roof trusses in place. One worker is on the roof-to-be.

Aug 26, 2020

Ready for the roof!

Our addition is looking fantastic!  This week Kerry Holman, Mark Lankton, and John Lovendahl worked hard to get all the rafters on to prepare for the roof decking on Thursday.  Very exciting!


We are looking for a round 30” diameter window just in case somebody has one they would like to donate.  

Photo of three workers, each holding an ice cream bar.
Photo from southeast of expansion with side and roof sheathing on.
Photo of plywood being lifted onto the roof with heavy equipment.

September 2, 2020

Plywood on the roof: Check!

Plywood is on the roof! Now we are waiting for the metal roofing, which should be here Thursday! This past week, we were fortunate to have Jordan Dawn join the crew of Kerry, Mark, and John. He brought his equipment to lift the plywood up on the roof and to excavate our entry ramp which will be poured this week. What a huge help!! Another fantastic volunteer member!!! Thank you, Jordan.

Photo of south side of expansion with wall and roof felt attached.

Nov 3, 2020 — Updated: Dec 27, 2021

Your co-op wants your ideas

As you can see the new expansion is well on the way and we are hoping for completion Spring/Summer 2021.  We are reaching out to you, our members, on what you would like to see adorn the outside of our expansion.  It is your co-op so please let us know all your thoughts and ideas for the exterior, we will take everything on board to ensure that we create something amazing.  Send all ideas to or follow the “contact us” button on the website.

Thanks for sharing your visions!

August 21, 2022

Additional photos.

As far as I can tell, these weren't included in the original blog.


Photo of two workers on roof above new ramp.
Photo of underside of roof over new ramp, looking south.
Photo of four workers attaching siding around window next to ramp.
Photo of expansion from inside it, looking west north west, with original store building in background. Most wall and ceiling insulation is up. One person is working above the new ouside door.
Photo of extension exterior and part of original building as exterior trim is being attached, looking west. Two workers look to be fabricating a piece of flashing on the ground while another is working on a ladder next to the round window.
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