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Boise Bicycle Project to expand

Posted at 6:36 PM, Apr 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-29 20:44:28-04

If you can believe it, it has been nine years since the Boise Bicycle Project was founded.

In that time frame, they've repaired and distributed over 10,000 bikes to members of the community.

With plans to expand, they're preparing for a new era.

Founder and executive director of the Boise Bicycle Project Jimmy Hallyburton knew he needed a bigger facility to meet a growing demand. After looking into the option of moving, he decided to expand.

"We're pretty key to this neighborhood," Hallyburton said. "We're close to the greenbelt, close to the bench, close to BSU, so, as far as bicycling goes, we're very centrally located."

After much thought, and thanks to generous donations in the form of materials and services, a design for the add-on was drafted.

Basically, an upper level will be added to the back part of the building. Plus, the outside area in the back, where all the bikes are stored, will be fully enclosed. This will help preserve the metal parts that are vulnerable to rust and essentially make the entire operation more efficient.

During construction, half of the facility will remain open and accessible to the public. Boise Bicycle Project employees see this as an opportunity to amp up their mobile efforts. The idea is to bring the shop to the public with mobile units of which there will be plenty of room for them to be stored in the new space.

The project will kick off mid-June. It will be finished in September just in time for them to starting preparing for their Christmas bike giveaway.

The additional space upstairs will provide a classroom, which will be beneficial to the BBP's up-and-coming refugee program. Refugees are not only given a bike but taught how to repair them and how to be safe while riding.

"If we can have a bigger space and make it dedicated to that (their refugee program) where they can work on the bike, we could basically have a lot of bikes in advance ready to go," said Yann Le Morvan, the refugee program coordinator.

The 3,000 square-foot building will nearly double adding another 2,000 square-feet.

"All these different parts of the community are coming together to really make something incredible happen," Hallyburton said. "People know the impact that it's going to have because they've seen the impact that we've had already."

The BBP's capital campaign called 'Riding to Raise the Roof' kicked off on April 1 with the goal of raising the $200,000 needed for the expansion in just 90 days.

Half of that money will be generated through grants with the rest coming in from partner organizations and the public at large.

All the information can be found on the BBP's website http://www.boisebicycleproject.org/.