A New Home for Nonprofit

By Clark Corbin
Post Register
Printed on Tuesday, November 3, 2009

ccorbin@postregister.com

After calling downtown Idaho Falls home for more than three decades, Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership is moving its operation to a new building.

Officials with the nonprofit negotiated a lease/purchase agreement to move their headquarters to 935 Lincoln Road by September 2010, EICAP Executive Director Russ Spain said.

The move will allow EICAP to consolidate its resources by downsizing from four buildings to one. EICAP is moving its headquarters, weatherization operations, Eastern Idaho Food Bank warehouse and Head Start program under one roof.

As part of the move, EICAP is selling its existing office at 357 Constitution Way for $1.1 million. The agency will also save money by eliminating lease payments for the weatherization, food bank clearinghouse and Head Start buildings, Spain said.

"It's something I have wanted to do for five or six years, but we never could locate the right facility," he said.

The agency will pay $950,000 for the Lincoln Road building, and Spain estimates it could spend $1 million more on renovations. The money the agency will save through its consolidation will pay for the new building and remodeling.

As a result, Spain isn't concerned about taking on the large project during the worst economic recession since the Great Depression.

"No, we're not (concerned) because we're actually seeing more people (in need of help) than ever before," Spain said.

Once the new building opens, nearly 80 EICAP employees will be based out of the Lincoln Road office, Spain said.

Polly Combe, the manager of EICAP's Head Start center on Lomax Street, said the move will make an immediate difference. She said the Lomax office is not ideal for children in Head Start's free preschool program because the classrooms lack windows and children must cross a busy parking lot to use the center's playground.

"It's something we're really excited about, and I know it will be a big improvement for the families we serve," Combe said.

Although EICAP has been planning for the move since late 2008, the existing offices will stay in place during the immediate future. Spain estimated renovations at the Lincoln Road building could begin in January, with the transition to the new building completed by September.

Business reporter Clark Corbin can be reached at 542-6761. Comment on this story at Post Talk at www.postregister.com/posttalk.

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What is EICAP?

For more than 40 years, the Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership has served residents of nine eastern Idaho counties, offering low-income housing, food, assistance with heating bills and counseling services.