A tale of two Col(l)ins

By Regan Plumb
Reader Contributor

It seems implausible enough that a contemporary outdoor recreation center could be pulled together in a matter of months with little advance notice during Sandpoint’s peak construction season. Add the fact that the two principal contractors involved had virtually the same first name (and last initial), and the story takes on an extraordinary quality. Extraordinary is a good way to describe the contributions of local builders Colin Burnett and Collin Beggs to the new Pine Street Woods Outdoor Recreation Center. 

When Kaniksu Land Trust and Sandpoint Nordic Club approached Colin Burnett, co-owner of Idagon Homes (Idagon.net), in the spring of 2019 about the project, he responded that all of his project managers were booked for the season. Then he offered to oversee the project personally. 

Collin Beggs, left, and Colin Burnett stand in front of the outdoor recreation center at Pine St. Woods.

With the ground breaking pushed into September, and a requirement that grant funds awarded in April be expended by early November, time was short to complete the 1,900 square-foot building. But Burnett was committed to seeing the project through because he recognized its intrinsic value to the Pine Street Woods property and to the broader community: a sheltering space to be open all year, ski and snowshoe rentals in the winter, and year-round children’s programming like school trips and ski lessons. 

“The project was a great opportunity to contribute to community based groups that have done so much to enhance outdoor opportunities for people of all ages in Sandpoint,” Burnett said. 

He donated countless hours of personal time to ensure the success of the project, while also encouraging subcontractors and suppliers to offer discounts so the building could be completed within a limited budget.

But one thing was missing. To be complete, the building needed a beautiful porch to provide shelter from the elements and an inviting bridge between the indoors and the outdoors. Enter Collin Beggs Design Build Timber Framing (collinbeggs.com), a long time Sandpoint-based timber framer, and his talented staff. Beggs’ crew carefully cut and notched the timbers for a stunning porch in their workshop, then raised them on a gray January day, all at no cost to the project. 

When asked about his contribution to the project, Beggs said “I know the impact that the built environment has on individuals and communities. Our work is a gift to everyone who comes to Pine Street Woods, and to the land itself, a gift that embodies our dreams, values and aspirations for our community. We hope everyone who visits is uplifted and inspired.”

The porch timbers were derived from trees with a long history in Sandpoint: an aged elm that lived out its natural life on Elm Street, and a massive walnut that shaded a farmhouse on Gooby Road. How fitting that these wizened old trees should continue to shelter the residents of Sandpoint. And also that two of our community’s master builders should partner on a legacy project that will continue to serve our residents for many years to come.

Regan Plumb works for Kootenai Land Trust.

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