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Breckenridge Salvages Vintage Building With Help Of Lakota Indians

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BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – One of the original buildings from Breckenridge Ski Area was already repurposed once, now it’s going to be torn down and rebuilt yet again. But this time it will have even more meaning.

“Near and dear to our hearts is our little Nordic chalet. It was an old ski school patrol hut at the top of Peak 8 here in Breckenridge, and it has been the home for our Breckenridge Nordic Center for 35 year,” Therese Dayton with the Breckenridge Nordic Center said.

The Breckenridge Nordic Center at Peak 8 (credit: CBS)

The Breckenridge Nordic Center at Peak 8 (credit: CBS)

But the building must move by the end of the month, and the Nordic Center owners knew the special building couldn’t just go to the dump.

“We have a whole team and a crew to help us keep this building from going to our local landfill in Dillon, and they are going to reconstruct this back on their Pine Ridge reservation,” Dayton said.

A team of Lakota Indians from South Dakota are preparing the building so it can now be theirs.

“We took down the roof, we took down the shingles, everything down to the wood. Inside we’re just gutting it,” Lakota leader Ed Iron Cloud said.

“There’s appreciation, the Pine Ridge reservation is the poorest place in the continental United States; it’s 80 percent unemployment,” Dave Ventimiglia with the Tipi Raisers said. “So a lot of these guys, they don’t have a history of working well with each other or working at all because there are no jobs up on the reservation.”

The Breckenridge Nordic Center at Peak 8 (credit: CBS)

The Breckenridge Nordic Center at Peak 8 (credit: CBS)

The nonprofit organization Tipi Raisers helped bring the tribe and the Nordic Center together. One trailer is full and another four semis will take the rest of the building and materials 400 miles.

“It’s a resource and we’re here to get it and take it back,” Iron Cloud said. “A place for our youth, it will be multipurpose. It will just be another facility that we can use. On the reservation it’s hard because we don’t have many facilities.”

“I think the difference here is they are helping us to take this building and salvage it, which is also just wonderful to our hearts to see this will live on for many more years,” Dayton said.

But there’s still a struggle ahead because there’s not enough money to rebuild it yet.

“We barely have enough money to get it on the trucks and out to the reservation,” Ventimiglia said.

“We’re just happy to have it,” Iron Cloud said. “It’s a labor of love and it’s hard, but ultimately the bottom line is it’s for the children.”

Those who would like to help the group rebuild the lodge can learn more at thetipiraisers.org.

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