Boys & Girls Club becomes the first Leed® Platinum building in Red Lodge

Photo by Tim Struck and Shelly Saunders

The Red Lodge Boys and Girls Club.

High Plains Architects of Billings, announced today that the Boys & Girls Club of Carbon County has achieved LEED® Platinum certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for New Construction and Major Renovation v2009 rating system. The building, owned by the Boys & Girls Club of Carbon County, is the first LEED Platinum project in Red Lodge, Montana. It is also the first LEED Platinum certified project in Montana under USGBC’s v2009 rating system. Located on the corner of Villard and 9th St West in downtown Red Lodge, the 1-story, 9,700-square-foot building was designed by High Plains Architects in 2010. Turning Leaf Construction, along with numerous local consultants and subcontractors, played an integral role in the project, completing construction of the addition and renovation in 2012. “[The Club] wanted to be an “irresistible” draw for kids and to use this opportunity to make a huge impact,” explained principal architect and owner of High Plains Architects Randy Hafer. “They wanted the remodeled club to be a proud and attractive asset in the community.” When the Club began working with High Plains, the Boys & Girls Club of Carbon County was full to capacity. Since first opening its doors, the Club had grown to serve over 668 youth. They provided 64% of the K-12 population of Red Lodge with quality enrichment programs and distributed scholarships for memberships and camps to 37% of qualifying kids. They involved 429 kids through outreach events beyond regular Club activities. Additionally, they facilitated high yield learning activities, homework assistance and cooking and fitness activities. Yet, it was apparent there was need for additional programs, services, and space. Working within a tight budget, the project included the extensive renovation of the existing Club facility, as well as a major addition for a multi-purpose gymnasium space, all while the Club was occupied and operational. “The Boys & Girls Club Board and staff wanted the remodeled building to provide a safe and healthy environment, as well as a tangible, hands-on example of sustainable design and environmental stewardship to future generations of kids,” explained Executive Director Jody Ackerman. Through an integrated design process, the project achieved ambitious goals by utilizing many sustainable design strategies: salvaged, recycled, & healthy materials, natural daylighting and ventilation, an 8.7kW PV array, and a 3,400 gallon rainwater collection system for toilet flushing and native landscape irrigation. The building is 52% more energy efficient and uses 86% less water than a building of the same size and type built to typical building codes. The project overcame many challenges including aligning with the City’s development requirements and complying with CDBG regulations. Completion of the Club was made possible by collaboration with local banks, a CDBG grant and generous donations from the community as a result of a rigorous fundraising campaign led by Boys & Girls Club Board President Anna Feinberg. The renovated Club has a historically sympathetic exterior which contributes to the Red Lodge Revitalization Master Plan and fits the historic character of downtown. “I think that there is a preconceived notion that a LEED project is going to require some level of sacrifice. We learned that there was no sacrifice. Instead, knowledge, thoughtfulness, and patience were what helped the project succeed," said Feinberg.