Junior Achievement readying for move to former Goodwill building
In early 2014, Junior Achievement of Southern Colorado will move its headquarters from downtown to the former Goodwill administrative offices on the north side of West Colorado Avenue's 2300 block.
JA bought the roughly 1˝-acre property (including the parking lot in back and the two historic houses west of the main building) from Goodwill this year for $600,000, according to David Loose, the nonprofit's president and CEO.
The purchase did not include the Goodwill retail store, which will remain in business at 23rd and Colorado.
JA, which services 46 southern Colorado counties, sought the 2300-block space because of long-range plans for a “miniature town” using hands-on programs to help teach business and personal-life economics, Loose explained. Students will be bussed in as part of a school day.
A capital campaign is under way to raise money to set up the programs, as well as to upgrade the building (including a new roof, some interior remodeling and improved heating, ventilation and air conditioning).
The campaign goal is $3.9 million. “We have $2.1 million to go,” Loose said. “I think we'll get there in 18 to 24 months.”
At that time, his staff will increase to four full-time and 15 part-time, he projected. Currently there are three full-time and six part-time.
Loose noted that his agency is separate from Junior Achievement USA, which is also located in Colorado Springs and is actually his agency's parent organization.
JA of Southern Colorado has been in Colorado Springs since 1986. It offers business-related programs “at every grade level,” he said.
Goodwill had owned most of the north and south sides of the 2300 block. A Goodwill real-estate representative has explained that the north side became available as a separate parcel after Kum & Go signed a contract for the 2-acre south side. But Kum & Go backed out of that contract last August, and Goodwill says it is “reevaluating” what to do with the south side.
Loose thanked Goodwill for working cooperatively with JA on its sale, pointing out that the final price was less than Goodwill had requested. “Goodwill was very generous to us,” he said.
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