HAC Building Project

During our 32 years of service, the practitioners of the Healing Arts center have provided well over 100,000 treatments, primarily to the Orcas Island community. We have a mission to provide space and support for holistic healthcare treatments and services, as well as education about wellness. We understand the mission of our nonprofit organization to involve stewarding the historic structure that we work from as a good home for future as well as present practitioners. We are one of the oldest and largest holistic healthcare cooperatives in the US.

Our building is one of the oldest houses in Eastsound. While masterfully built in 1904, the farmhouse was built on a foundation of flat beach rocks and cedar stumps, and shored up by pier blocks, and eventually posts and beams, over time. This sufficed until recent years, but evidence of structural instability was visible and further complications were imminent. Projects such as energy-efficient windows were put on hold until the critical structural needs could be addressed.

The first phase of our Master Building Plan covered the costs associated with architectural and engineering design of a stable perimeter foundation. In May 2016, the annual GiveOrcas fund drive of the Orcas Island Community Foundation provided us with $2500 in grant funds, a small percentage of the entire project but a significant encouragement. We then raised more through raffles, supported by both Healing Arts practitioners and the wider Orcas Island community.

The design phase of this project was funded and completed by 2019, and the implementation of Phase Two was completed as of late fall 2020. It involved permitting, excavation, stabilizing the existing building, construction of a perimeter foundation, insulation and sealing, and more. This represents the completion of the most crucial work to stabilize our building. Architectural drawings for a third phase, the construction of an internal stairway [update: this part of the plan has been scaled back to the less expensive replacement of existing outdoor stairs/deck], along with more foundation work on the front of the building, are complete and the project is moving again (in 2022) after a pandemic pause.

In September 2018, we received an Energy Assessment Report from the Community Energy Challenge of the Sustainable Connections organization we were directed by OPALCO to contact. Among the recommendations of that report were installation of a solar electric system, heat pumps, insulation, high-efficiency windows, and more. For some of these we were eligible for rebates and grants, and some projects would result in energy savings sufficient to make the measures have a payback/break-even point under 15 years. We were included in the OICF GiveOrcas Holiday Catalog fundraiser, in December of both 2018 and 2020, with funds earmarked for these energy improvements.

In one of our rooms we have added insulation and installed  replacement, energy-efficient windows, for which we received substantial rebates as mentioned above, and installed the first phase of a heat pump system, this one serving our primary common area. By the end of November 2020, we had finished Phases 1 and 2 of putting a new foundation beneath our historic 1904 Eastsound building. We received a grant from Orcas Island Community Foundation in 2016, and have held 3 raffles since then to support this need. After an energy audit, and fundraising for efficiency improvements, we finished installing 6 new energy-efficient windows where most needed, and installed one part of an energy-efficient heat pump system for heating, cooling, and ventilation. In late 2020 we raised $4700 towards installing the second half of the heat pump system, through the GiveOrcas.org holiday catalog, sponsored by Orcas Island Community Foundation (OICF). In addition, a generous anonymous donor matched $3000 of those contributions.

In March 2022, when we were the Orcas Food Co-op’s beneficiary of donations with their Community Hero program, and continuing into April, we moved ahead with a major fundraising campaign to bring the funds for the second phase of the Heat Pump Project up to the goal of $25,000, which is accounted for by a more energy-efficient design, as well as increased costs of the equipment from the original estimates. To date, in late May, we’ve raised 80% of that goal, and are still fundraising the remaining $5,000.

In May, we succeeded in meeting the $24,200 goal of our second spring fundraiser, this one through the Orcas Island Community Foundation spring catalog of the GiveOrcas.org campaign. We were designated as one of seven island nonprofits (out of a total of 27) that had a critical need for the funding.  We were given a bonus of $1000 for tying for first place in the contest for greatest number of $100 donations on a single day of the fundraiser. The funds will enable us to complete the final phase of the foundation, along with necessary removal of a small room on the front of the building (the old entryway), and demolition and replacement of the stairway and deck that serves as access to our second floor.

The remainder of our project entails expenses for siding, additional energy-efficient windows, and some doors. Remaining costs for those items will run around $5000, bringing us to $10,000 (with the above-mentioned Heat Pump) that we’ll be continuing to try to raise through Summer 2022.

We will be continuing to look for grants, and continue fundraising, as well as contributing from our own accounts and accepting in-kind donations. Or give us a call and we can discuss other ways to contribute. You’ll help us ensure the continued presence of the Healing Arts Center in Eastsound for many years to come. Any contributions not otherwise designated, made via our donation button in the sidebar, will go to these building projects.