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It’s a family affair as the Jorgensens reveal an ambitious plan for Huerfano County

WALSENBURG — Sitting down in the 26,000 square foot Quest Manufacturing building (originally the Snodgrass Mercantile) in Walsenburg, Franz, Yul and Finn Jorgensen share their vision for transforming the massive space from its former use as a manufacturing plant. A contract is in place and the family expects to close on the building in mid October. The complicated proposal is well organized by the two managing partners, Finn and Yul Jorgensen, who are imbued with enthusiasm. The design involves using the space to accommodate an architectural firm, a school of alternative and natural building, plus workshop space for craft-persons and artisans who work in wood, metal, glass, stone, fiber, masonry and specialty faux finishing. The concept also involves plans for audio and video production, dwelling space for interns and a penthouse living area that will serve as both massage studios, and a gathering space for concerts, yoga workshops, culinary arts, meditation, dance workshops and general social events. Says Finn, “all our efforts are in

the pursuit of helping to raise the consciousness and skills of all who seek to create at their highest levels. We also are dedicated to creating a more sustainable, resilient, self-reliant, satisfying, meaningful, rich and generous society in Huerfano County.” Lofty goals indeed, the group is in the development stages of a most unusual and innovative program to attract 5-7 genius level interns/guests who will live for a year in the facility in an effort to solve some of the most pressing problems facing our society today. This particular program will be funded by patrons and Finn is hopeful that individuals from the community will come forward to help subsidize this component of the plan. Yul, a 2012 graduate of La Veta High School, is already an accomplished artist. His job will be to design the website and be the coordinator for the overall art program. Possessing a focus and maturity level uncommon for his age, he articulates his goals with clarity. Says Yul, “I’m really motivated and determined to bring in folks of all ages who want to be here.” Having observed fellow students in his art classes who were present simply because they needed the credit, he is inviting people to his program who have a higher level of desire to learn artistic skills. “The only people who should show up are those who want to do art.” Organization for the alternative/natural building school will be handled initially by Finn who shares his son’s desire to attract the best and brightest from the community and beyond. This school will not be college accredited, rather it is workshop based, designed to provide hands-on life skills, not a diploma. Part of this notion is based on Finn’s passionate belief that young people are burdened with too much debt from higher education. His solution to this problem is to offer affordable workshops that will provide immediate skills without an untenable monetary obligation hanging overhead. To help accomplish this goal, Finn says, “we are seeking a small group of investors to help fund projects that we are trying to accomplish”. 17-year-old Franz Jorgensen has yet to fully define what his role in the family endeavor will be. At this time his focus is on completing high school and developing his passions for music and metalworking. Bubbling with positivity, Finn’s enthusiasm is infectious. He can barely contain his zeal as he explains, “I’m so on fire, this building is inspiring to me, I want people to come here to create.”