Groundbreaking: Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch Project, Elbert

Campaign Leadership Ceremoniously Breaking Ground (Photo courtesy of Saunders Construction).

ELBERT – Saunders Construction, a leading general contractor in Colorado, and the Denver Area Council, BSA, recently held an official groundbreaking ceremony for the a renovation and expansion of the Kephardt Dining Hall at Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch located near Elbert, CO.

The dining hall was originally built to serve 350 campers however, an average of 500 campers per week are now being served at the summer camp. The renovations will include expanding seating and meal prep areas to serve up to 700 people. Aligned with their corporate social responsibility philosophies, Saunders Construction and design partner, Merrick, are providing services for this project at cost. 

Preliminary rendering of Dining Hall Expansion, courtesy of Merrick.

The first phase of the project will construct a new 3,600-square-foot wood deck addition and a 1,200-square-foot kitchen addition to the Kephardt Dining Hall, as well as renovations to the basement, first floor and second floor. Additionally, the project will include upgrades to the fire sprinkler system and a new heating and cooling system in the kitchen area. Construction of the first phase is expected to be complete in early Summer 2019 – just in time for the next camping season.

Currently in design and in fundraising, the second phase will include critical infrastructure upgrades to the camp grounds including potable water, waste water treatment, electrical service, and communications. 

“Every year, approximately 33,000 children are positively impacted by the Scouts in the Denver Area Council. The camp programs at Peaceful Valley provide a critical connection to the outdoors for our youth,” says Greg Schmidt, president and CEO of Saunders Construction, and Denver Area Council Trustee. “These much-needed improvements will ensure these important programs continue to provide kids a lifetime of memories and instill in them the Scout Law: A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.”

The fundraising campaign will also provide several program facility enhancements to attract and retain Scouts including: 

  • Program Center with indoor climbing wall and basketball court
  • Colorado History outpost with mining, agriculture and native history
  • Innovation Lab for advancing STEM programs
  • Adventure Valley obstacle course for physical fitness


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