The mission of the Third Street Center is to promote community through a multitenant, mixed-use facility that models sustainability in its design and practice. Originally opened in 1961 as the Carbondale Elementary School, the building was renovated, repurposed and reopened in June, 2010. As an independent, self-supporting community center and regional hub, we are supported by rental revenue, individual donors, and private grants.
By providing long-term, affordable rental space, the Center brings together a diverse collection of nearly three dozen nonprofit organizations, artists and small businesses under one roof, leveraging their unique strengths. It offers them opportunities to work together more closely, creatively and efficiently to develop solutions for common problems facing the region and their clients. In sharing a home, nonprofits are encouraged to share skills, talents, and resources, enabling them to more effectively pursue their missions.
The 36 community impact organizations based at Third Street Center work on every important issue facing our region – climate change, senior services, food security, youth mentoring, health insurance, energy efficiency and renewables, restoration, business development and support, and mental health – making Third Street Center a place of creative exchange and an incubator of programs and solutions that improve thousands of lives in our region.
In addition to being a home to 36 nonprofits, small businesses, and artists, we are a community center hosting over 2,000 meetings and events in our community spaces each year. There are 100 jobs based here (many of which did not exist when we opened in 2010) making us an economic incubator for Carbondale and the region. With our solar panels producing more electricity than we need, we're a renewable energy power plant pumping solar electricity onto the grid.
Transforming an old elementary school turned out to be a pretty good idea.