Community foundation moves into its new building

Orcas Island Community Foundation has a new place to call home thanks to a living legacy donation by Bob and Carolyn Volk.

“We facilitate about $2 million a year in grants. So we’re busy, and it’s nice to have the space to be able to get all that work done,” said OICF Executive Director Hilary Canty. “Plus we’re really excited; we have about 15 community organizations that use our meeting room right now in the other building. It’s a much smaller space. So this will allow for classes, it will allow for workshops, board meetings, so we’re really excited about that.”

The Orcas Food Co-op’s administrative office will be moving into the foundation’s old location, which is

A long rectangular building that stair-steps down the hill along the eastern side of Urner Street in Eastsound was donated to OICF by the Volks in December 2017. After a full remodel done over the past few months, the space will now house the foundation’s offices as well as two mental health providers and a chiropractor office.

“We have three units that we’re renting, so we’re actually going to get a monthly return,” Canty said. “So not only are we not paying rent, but we will be generating some income, which is pretty phenomenal.”

Entering the new office takes you to a foyer, and to your right is a small meeting room with donated furniture to host smaller gatherings. A bathroom and a kitchen lie ahead, and a left will take you into the staff offices.

“We’re excited to have people come by and take a look. We see it as, really, an asset for the whole community,” Canty said. “It’s pretty remarkable to have this piece of property in Eastsound at this point being dedicated to community service. It’s pretty remarkable and nothing we could have afforded to do. And we think it looks really good.”

Down the hall, past the offices, is the larger meeting room called the Volk Family Meeting Room to honor the building’s donors.

Canty views the move as a way of coming full circle. When she first began working for OICF 2007, her office was in the Urner Street building, but it was dark and dreary and had an eternal puddle located near the door, she said.

“It was not my favorite place, and we were really happy to move over to Patty Miller’s building,” Canty said. “But, now that we’ve reclaimed it and upgraded it, I feel really quite grateful for such a gift.”

With money from Bob Henigson’s donation to the foundation, OICF was able to work with local contractor Ken Katz to install all new windows, heating systems, engineered bamboo flooring and paint. Henigson’s unrestricted donation of more than $1 million has gone to several community nonprofits, OICF-led trainings and more, with less than a quarter of the contribution put toward remodeling the office.

“Fortunately we had a been given a large legacy gift from Bob Henigson, so we had some unrestricted funds that allowed us to do the remodeling that was needed to bring it up to standard,” Canty said.

The foundation moved in on Friday, Sept. 21, while the chiropractor office has been in full swing, and the other two offices are waiting for their new tenants.

“With Bob Henigson’s legacy, the library got expanded, April’s Grove is getting built, the Funhouse got remodeled, this got remodeled,” Canty said. “The ripple of that, not only in the nonprofit community but also in the business community – the number of people who have been put to work is pretty remarkable in the trades and construction. I think that’s a pretty exciting thing.”