BSC Building & Community Update

Dear Boulder Shambhala Community,


Your Boulder Shambhala Staff and Building & Design Committees wish to update you on the restoration of our beloved building, scheduled to “begin” next week. In truth, the restoration process has been actively going on for months.

We had 2 months of asbestos and mold mitigation and prevention, then proceeded to work with our attorney to finally procure the appropriate compensation for the renovation. The insurance issues are now settled, with a very good result that will cover replacement costs for all disturbed surfaces in our Fortress of Dharma.


In the past month we encountered another conundrum— the entrance way, hallway, kitchen, and finance floors on the main floor will be replaced and cannot become any thicker than they currently are. So, this limits us to materials of less than 3/16ths of an inch, which limits the affordable options for materials that will not end up looking worn within a few years. Determined—we finally found a very nice material that we all loved. But then, after believing all ducks were in a row to go forward, and after four close floor examinations of the floor, the installers took another hard look and realized that this material could not be installed after all. Well it could be, but for a cost of $13,000 to prepare the subfloor appropriately, which definitely is not in the budget!

Our precious, historic building has a “charming” wonkiness (to some) on the main level floor; it slants and undulates well beyond the specs of many materials, including the lovely material we had selected. This led our design team to another afternoon’s journey to the flooring showroom in south Denver last Friday. This has resulted in selecting an alternative product we believe is workable AND attractive. We are now awaiting larger samples to be delivered so we can try them out in situ.


In the meantime—Daniel Naistadt and Agness Au spent many hours selecting carpet samples and paint colors for walls and doors that would coordinate with our original flooring selection. We think our new selections will work with the carpet and color scheme selected, so we will not have to begin from scratch.
While the results of new flooring and new colors are a few weeks out, the contractors will begin in the basement with some necessary electrical, ceiling, light fixture work, and some dry wall replacement. While this has been an extended process with a couple more months to go, all involved have put painstaking time and effort into this project without pause. In the end, the building will be uplifted and very beautiful, and a seeming disaster will appear to be more of a gift from the Dralas than a debacle!


Our Main Shrine Room remains saturated with decades of blessings. Practice and talks are occurring regularly, and, while not open to the public with regularly scheduled events, we do invite individuals, groups of friends, and/or practice groups to schedule practice time in the MSR. Please write to Travis and Azia to check on the MSR calendar, schedule your group, and review the guidelines for utilizing the MSR during this time.


Other crucial building initiatives are underway as well. Eileen has been fully focused on writing a grant application for the State Historical Fund focused on replacing half of our windows in 2022. You probably are aware that our windows are in terrible shape, leaking and rotting. We are anxious to refurbish this feature of our building, which of course must be accomplished according to historical guidelines if we are to qualify for the grant. A costly project, which requires a $50,000 match from BSC, a SHF grant will only cover half of the windows at one time. The Shambhala Board graciously granted us the matching amount, and hopefully we will receive the grant and begin this critical process.


Additionally, we are about to install cameras at entrance ways in the MSR to achieve greater security for the building in these changing times. We are analyzing quotes for lining or replacing our sewer line which remains in fragile condition. Installation of a backup battery and temperature monitors for the boiler room are forthcoming so that we have protection around a future boiler failure due to a loss of electricity! Lastly, we are investigating the possibility of installing flagpoles in front of the Spruce Street entrance to BSC, so  we can wave the flags of Dharma above all of Boulder. Stay tuned for a grand re-opening celebration in late summer, and do come and practice in the MSR in the meantime!


With immeasurable devotion, care, and love for our Lineage & Sangha,


Jessie Friedman
Executive Director, Boulder Shambhala Center