Portraits of Peace House History: A Vision for the Future

Then Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox speaks at Ribbon Cutting Celebration (2019)

This year marks 25 years of Peace House serving survivors of family violence and abuse in Summit and Wasatch counties through shelter, support services, education and outreach. As part of our 25th Anniversary Year, each month we are spotlighting some of the many individuals who have shaped Peace House history. Throughout the year, we will be honoring and commemorating all those who have supported the life-saving and life-changing work that Peace House has offered our community over the past 25 years.

On March 31, 2007, Jane Marantz, Peace House Chair of the Board (2006–2010), put together a significant board retreat that helped Peace House set a course for its future. With her background in marketing, Jane felt it was “pretty exciting to look at [Peace House] as a startup. What goals did we have, and where were we going for the future?” What came from that board retreat was a need to clarify who the organization was within the community it served. 

Peace House had legally changed their name in February 2002 from Domestic Peace Task Force, Inc., to Peace House, Inc. Because people were using both names, their marketing was not clear. As a result, the organization branded themselves as Peace House and established a new logo, updated their website, revised their mission and vision statements to better represent who they were, and reimagined their goals for the future. One of those goals was the need to expand their 7,000-square-foot shelter on Marsac Ave. Jane notes, “We had very strong feelings that the shelter was not a long-term solution. It was truly inadequate for our needs.” This understanding drove Peace House’s vision for the future and began a 12-year process that culminated in the opening of the new Peace House Community Campus in September 2019. 

One of the first steps Peace House took toward clarifying their identity was to purchase the deed for the shelter, giving them ownership and control of their own building. The owner was Mountainlands Community Housing Trust, which Bob Wells had established as the nonprofit ICTHOS in the early 1990s. (Peace House History: Peace House, Est. 1995) Domestic Peace Task Force had always run and occupied the shelter but had no equity in the building. Through the great efforts of Bob Dillon—a local real estate lawyer—and Bill Erickson—who worked with Utah Housing Corp and served as Peace House Treasurer—along with the support of Bob Wells, Peace House negotiated and found a way that benefited both Mountainlands and allowed Peace House to take ownership of their shelter. With all parties feeling good about the transaction—often referred to as a “Bob Deal” (Peace House History: Bob Wells)—the quitclaim deed transferred to Peace House, Inc., on November 30, 2007. In 2017 this would prove significant when Peace House was able to sell their original shelter to Park City Municipal Corporation, providing major funds toward building the new campus. Jane Marantz considers spearheading the shelter’s purchase to be one of her most valuable contributions to Peace House. 

On March 23, 2008, the new Shelter Committee met for the first time, overseen by Marantz. The committee consisted of board members and friends of Peace House, including Joan Alper, Bob Dillon, Bill Erickson, Richard Jaffa, Jane Marantz, Peace House Executive Director Jane Patten, Bob Wells, and Sandra Vogt. In 2009, the committee began scouting out sites and visiting locations. In 2010, Jim Smith joined the board and became chair of the Facilities Committee. Sharon Mardula, a future member of that committee, describes Jim as “a wise and thoughtful leader, like the unwavering lighthouse that provides direction through calm and storm alike.” Eleven years later, Jim remains chair of the committee.

By 2011, the Facilities Committee had grown into what Bob Dillon recalls as a unique group of people and “one of the best committees I have served on, with so many knowledgeable people.” Jim Smith recruited Jim Hill, an established big developer who had a gift for asking the right questions; Jeff Smith, who had been part of the Summit County Planning Commission and well connected in the community; Phyllis Robinson, who held years of experience in the nonprofit housing world; Rory Murphy, a local developer; Rhoda Stauffer, who worked with affordable housing at the City; and Dave Love, builder of the original shelter and long-time friend of Peace House. 

Right Place at the Right Time

On June 22, 2011, Jane Patten answered an unknown call from Charles Worsham, who was part of the building and construction team at Tanger Factory Outlet Centers. Charles had met with Summit County’s planning office earlier that day about expanding their factory outlets at Kimball Junction in Park City. He learned that there were certain affordable housing requirements that had to be met if they were going to expand. The county planner also let Charles know about the option to pay a fee instead to a local nonprofit that may also be looking to build. The county gave Charles the names of three nonprofits to reach out to. Charles’s first two calls had no answers. On the third call, Jane Patten from Peace House picked up. The saying “right place at the right time” certainly applied to this moment. What Charles was offering would provide enough seed money to get Peace House’s vision for a new campus off the ground. 

Jane met with Charles that same day, and shortly thereafter they agreed to move forward with the idea that Tanger would pay a fee to benefit Peace House and the building of their future campus. Yet, like many deals, this would take some time. With Jeff Smith’s experience serving on the Summit County Planning Commission, he worked with the county as they removed the limits on the amount of fee-in-lieu that was available to nonprofits. It took two-and-a-half years. On January 15, 2014, with Jim Smith, Jane Patten, Jeff Smith, and Bob Dillon present, the Summit County Council held a memorable meeting where they unanimously approved Tanger’s fee-in-lieu of a $960,490 payment to go toward Peace House’s new campus. There were several contingencies tied to the funds to ensure its proper use. First, Peace House had to have real property secured by March 1, 2015. Second, they had to acquire regulatory approvals from the city for a valid development by March 2016. Third, they had to start construction by 2017. With this important initial investment, the facilities team hit the ground running. Peace House had one year to find land. 

A Land Lease

Members of the Facilities Committee looked at several land opportunities, but Jeff Smith’s relationship with Intermountain Healthcare (Intermountain) helped bring Peace House into a conversation with Intermountain about potentially leasing a parcel of land near their hospital. Intermountain had recently done a similar deal with People’s Health Clinic and was interested in doing another agreement, as they were looking to expand their hospital and had affordable housing obligations they needed to meet. A lease with Peace House would prove to be a win–win for both parties, allowing Peace House to lease the land for up to 50 years while meeting some of Intermountain’s affordable housing obligations. 

As Doug Clyde—a land-use consultant and at the time a new recruit to the Facilities Committee—notes, “it was an ideal piece of land for the new Peace House [campus].” He describes the land as spacious enough to allow protection around the building and to provide sufficient isolation while also being surrounded by community partners. It was within the Park City limits (the city being a great supporter of the organization) while also located just off the interstate, making the new location easily accessible to clients in both Summit and Wasatch counties. With Doug Clyde’s support and Bob Dillon’s legal expertise, the parties reached a deal. Peace House met their March 2015 land deadline, and the committee turned their focus toward finding an architect and builder so they could meet their next deadline in March 2016.

Design and Architecture

For many months, Facility Committee members toured buildings all over the state, including other shelters like YCC Family Crisis Center in Ogden, YWCA in Salt Lake, and CAPSA in Logan. Committee members—including Sharon Mardula, a new member with a career in engineering—joined Doug Clyde, Jim Smith, and Jane Patten in visiting shelters along with churches, prisons, police stations, civic buildings, and other projects to help gain a vision of what they wanted, as well as what they didn’t want, as part of their new campus. Doug Clyde notes, “There wasn’t a facility in the state that had been built like what we were trying to do from the ground up, that integrated all these functions. Peace House was unique. We wanted a fully integrated design, and the challenge was how to make this happen all in the same space.”  

Input from the staff was also an important part of the design process, representing survivors’ view of the project. Staff members Jessica Gray and Kate Stone, who both had served as shelter directors, offered a lot of early input. Later, Tim Savage, Director of Program Operations, acted as a liaison, sharing design concepts and ideas back and forth between staff and the design committee for discussion.

The Facilities Committee and Design Committee’s site visits, research, cumulative knowledge, and experience helped formulate the building blocks of what they hoped an architect would be able to design into their building. In early spring 2015, the Facilities Committee invited five architectural firms to participate in a design charrette. By June 2015, they chose Peters + Newell, P.C. Architects to partner with Peace House and design their vision for the future. Jane Patten says, “I was very impressed by their buy-in for our cause and their willingness to offer what was needed.” They cared about the project and the process. Peters + Newell agreed on a set price for their design services, which Jane Patten recognized as very generous considering that, ultimately, the size of the project grew substantially, and there were many design iterations by the time they had begun building two years later.

Doug Clyde recalls that “the first priority for the project was security since they were choosing to bring their building out of the shadows and into the light,” which became their capital campaign tagline. They wanted to ensure the security and safety of their clients whether they were visiting for an appointment or residing in the emergency shelter or transitional housing. Peace House did not want their project to feel like a prison or for their clients to feel like they were being kept in, as Doug recalls. With this in mind, Kenton Peters recounts that “there was a lot of reflection and discussion about all the aspects of the building . . . relationships of the different secure spaces and how you pass from one to the other. The experience the clients would have while they were there, and how the staff would move through these spaces . . . and yet still come out with a coherent building that looked good on the site, yet functioned well with all the complexities of the organization.” The architecture needed to feel welcoming to those who might drive by and feel secure and be safe for those who needed Peace House services.

Old Friends: New Star General Contractors

As the Facilities Committee chose their builder, their first look was to Peace House’s long-time partners and friends, New Star General Contractors. New Star had built the original shelter on Marsac, and for fifteen years New Star owners Dave Love and Jeff Pettit and their team were always ready to help with anything needing repair at the shelter. (Peace House History: Peace House, Est. 1995) At one point, Jane Patten recalls, Dave Love even offered Peace House a generous personal donation at a financially challenging time, the recession of the early 2000s. This meant a lot to Jane and to the organization. New Star were trusted friends and so it was a natural partnership to have them build Peace House’s vision for the future. 

New Star took on the project with heart and passion, choosing to donate $200,000 in fees. They, like the architects who donated their in-kind time and fees, believed in the mission and felt they were part of something that would deeply impact the community.  Everyone from Aaron Smith, Project Manager for New Star, to Dennis Johns, Project Superintendent, went above and beyond expectations and encouraged their subcontractors to give what they could in terms of time and discounts to Peace House as well. Dennis was quoted in a Utah Construction & Design Magazine article that recognized the new building: “We find passion in what we do for Peace House . . . It’s certainly different than most jobs.” He added, “Everybody was upbeat, knowing we’re making a positive impact.” [1]

The partnership among Peace House, New Star, Peters + Newell, and the Facilities Committee was unlike most building relationships, says Sharon Mardula, who also notes that weekly meetings often ended with hugs. Jane and Sharon both recount that the group as a whole chose to set egos aside and put the project and its purpose above everyone and everything else. Everyone involved says that when challenges arose, no one pointed any fingers; they simply figured out solutions. Kenton Peters explains, “We all understood the nature and the goal of the project and as a result, it felt different.” Great communication and strong working relationships allowed them to submit the plans for the new Peace House Community Campus to the county, and the plans were returned by their March 2016 deadline.

Thrive Campaign

As part of the Facilities Committee’s site tours in 2015, committee members visited the Ronald McDonald House in Salt Lake City. The house had recently opened, and their capital campaign manager Liza Springmeyer was just wrapping up her job with the nonprofit. Dave Jones, whose firm Pathway Associates had done a feasibility study for Peace House earlier that year, suggested that they meet Liza because he thought she might be a good fit to help them with their upcoming capital campaign. Liza’s experience, optimism, and organizational skills proved to be the perfect fit, and Peace House hired her as Capital Campaign Manager in August 2015. 

Dave Jones’ feasibility study showed that Peace House should expect to raise only a relatively modest amount of money. But as the architects were chosen and the design phase was developing, Peace House realized they needed to raise substantially more funds to be able to achieve their vision for the new campus. Liza felt strongly that as the project came “out of the shadows and into the light,” more money would become available. The community needed to understand what Peace House was offering to survivors: not simply a chance to survive, but the resources and support services to truly help them thrive. With new services like child care, expanded emergency shelter housing, new transitional housing units, and clinical therapy all under one roof at an accessible location, victims would have the support they need to thrive. Thrive became a theme that Liza and volunteer Kristen Gunnerud chose to develop. They adopted the words of poet Maya Angelou for the campaign: “My mission in life is not merely to survive but to thrive.” With the help of the design firm Wilson Ferrari, they put together Thrive Campaign packets and began to share Peace House’s vision for the future.

By March 2016, the city had approved the plans, and the new community campus was becoming a reality. As Liza says, “We were no longer in the planning phase, we were in the this-is-going-to-happen phase,” so it was time to begin meeting with potential donors. Liza, Jim Smith, and Jane Patten formed the Thrive Campaign Committee, which included friends of Peace House such as Sue Proctor, Polly Strasser, Gary Crandall, Patti Wells, Carol Kotler, Jeff Smith, and Janet Thompson.

The campaign received its first private donation back in 2015 following the tragic passing of Peace House champion Bob Wells. Bob’s wife Patti and his family had requested that donations be given to Peace House in lieu of flowers. The many small donations from that request became a substantial initial gift to support the new campus. “This was the first community show of love and support for the project,” Liza warmly recalls. Other significant gifts came via anonymous donors and local philanthropist Beano Solomon, who early on made a generous gift that helped the campaign’s fundraising efforts get off the ground. 

Breaking ground on the new campus in the spring of 2017 wasan opportunity to bring attention to the project and a more public face to fundraising efforts. Liza recounts that the Thrive Campaign Committee chose Karen Marriott, an “influential member of the community, [who] had the energy and drive to get things done” to chair the Thrive Campaign. Liza and Jim Smith approached Karen in February 2017, and she accepted their invitation to help them raise awareness and funds for the project. Karen’s passion for Peace House had grown in the past couple of years as she had been actively serving women at Peace House through her church ministry. She was excited that the new campus would include child care and transitional housing, two barriers she had often met when trying to find help for Peace House clients. Karen became a dedicated leader of the project, helping the organization raise an additional $5.5 million over the next two years. 

At Peace House’s Community Campus Ground Staking event in June 2017, committee members and staff introduced the project to the community and the media. Peace House formally announced new Executive Director Kendra Wyckoff, introduced Karen Marriott as Thrive Campaign Chair, and revealed the plans for the new campus. The public phase of the campaign had officially begun. 

Jane Patten had chosen to retire from her position as Executive Director in December 2016, redirecting her full attention to the new community campus and taking on the new title of Facilities Manager. A new Interim Executive Director, Julie DeLong, came on board in January 2017, giving Peace House a chance to find their next executive director who could grow with the expanding organization. Jane had known Kendra Wyckoff, a domestic violence and sexual assault resource provider in Davis County, who at the time was Director of Safe Harbor Crisis Center. Kendra had learned about the position from a colleague and reached out to Jane to learn more. Kendra says, “I was really intrigued by the opportunity to fulfill the vision the community had for this new facility and close those gaps for survivors, whose needs the existing shelter did not have the capacity to meet.”  In March 2017, Julie DeLong and the board of directors offered Kendra the job, which she accepted, but she needed a few months to ensure she could leave Safe Harbor set up for success. With her 20 years working in victim services, Kendra stepped into the executive director role in July 2017 and got right to work. Her first priorities were developing relationships within Peace House and the community while getting up to speed with the organization’s key initiatives and the project to build a new facility. 

Funding Sources

In July 2017, an important stamp of approval from the community came as Peace House received Park City Community Foundation’s Women’s Giving Fund grant. This grant represents more than one thousand women who have contributed to the Women’s Giving Fund (WGF). Each year, the Park City Community Foundation gives all WGF donors the opportunity to vote for the nonprofit organization supporting women and children in Summit County that will receive the annual grant award. In 2017 they chose Peace House, giving their name to the first transitional housing unit at the new campus. These valuable funds and validation of the new project helped raise additional attention and donations for the new campus as the Thrive team shared their vision and plans for the future. 

In November 2017, the Thrive Campaign Committee—with planning assistance from Liza and Sally Tauber, new Director of Development at Peace House—hosted the private Be Our Star event at Park City Film Studios. The event included fewer than one hundred potential major donors whom the committee had identified, and created a program that included Jane Patten’s sharing of her personal survivor story for the first time. Karen Marriott auctioned off naming opportunities for areas within the new campus. The Thrive Campaign exceeded their goals for the evening as guests gave generously. Karen recounts it as “a night to be remembered as guests were touched by Jane’s personal story of survival, and dove deep into their pockets to support the expanded capacity and services the new campus would offer survivors. It was deeply moving.” During the evening, a couple of guests decided they would like to give anonymously to recognize Jane Patten at the new campus. Their generosity came forth when Jane was surprised and honored at the 2019 ribbon-cutting ceremony with a plaque outside the front doors to Peace House honoring her commitment to the organization and the new campus. 

Donors came via many forms, including small house gatherings where individuals wrote checks, to personal visits with family foundations, to official presentations by the Thrive Campaign team to members of the Legislature’s Appropriation Committee. With the support of Utah Senator Kevin Van Tassel—a longtime friend of Peace House who sponsored Peace House’s request before the Appropriations Committee—Karen, Liza, Jim, and Kendra set off to the State Capitol to meet with legislators to rally support for Peace House’s one-time appropriation request. Karen recalls, “it was like speed dating as we went from office to office and for only a few designated minutes we shared our vision for Peace House and our need for their support.” In March 2018 at the closing of Utah’s Legislative Session, Kendra and Liza informed the team that they had received a $900,000 appropriation from the State of Utah. Jim Smith shared his appreciation for Senator Van Tassel who “marshaled their request through successfully” as well as the support from Representative Tim Quinn, our local Utah House District 54 representative at the time. The Thrive team was thrilled! 

The state’s appropriation meant that Peace House had now received multiple sources of public funding. Before the appropriation, they had received approval for a grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank, as well as funding from local and state branches of government. The fair market value sale of the “Little Red House” on Marsac Avenue in January 2017 offered city funding to the project, as well as an opportunity to stay in their shelter through 2018 essentially rent-free. Park City Municipal also generously waived many costly building and permit fees for the project. In 2017, Peace House had also met Summit County Council’s building requirements in order to receive the fee-in-lieu from the Tanger Outlets’ affordable housing credits. The Thrive Campaign was proud of the variety of sources of funding they had received, which laid out as half private and half public funding. 

By spring 2018, the Thrive Campaign was close to meeting their $11.6 million fundraising goal, when Liza responded to an unsolicited email. One of the founding families of dōTERRA—an essential oils company based out of Pleasant Grove, Utah—who had a second home in Summit County had heard about Peace House and asked if they could meet with representatives from the organization. Karen, Kendra, and Liza drove to Pleasant Grove to meet with them at dōTERRA’s world headquarters and shared information about Peace House and the Thrive Campaign. Liza followed up with a package suggesting different levels of support that dōTERRA might be interested in to support Peace House. Karen recalls suggesting to Liza “that we needed to also ask for exactly what we needed.” Shortly before Peace House’s annual Spring Luncheon that year, Liza received a call from dōTERRA’s Healing Hands Foundation with an offer to close out the Thrive Campaign, meeting the $11.6 million goal. They also offered funds to Peace House’s annual operating budget by being a donor at our Spring Luncheon. “Their generous gift was nothing shy of a miracle, and offered an immense sense of relief that we had achieved our fundraising goal,” Karen notes. At Spring Luncheon, Kendra announced that with dōTERRA’s help, Peace House was able to meet capital campaign goals, and the construction for the new campus was fully funded. 

It is All in the Details

By fall 2018, the Thrive Campaign team had moved their focus toward establishing a funding reserve, in case the project required it. Polly Strasser, one of the team’s important fundraisers along with others, felt it was important to have a rainy day fund, which turned out to be needed as additional safety measures were added to the campus near the end of the project. The Design Committee met weekly with the architects and construction team headed by Aaron Smith. Kendra attended meetings as Executive Director along with Tim Savage, who then served as Programs Director, representing staff and Peace House clients’ input. Jim Smith was ever present as Chair of the Facilities Committee, as was Sharon Mardula, who oversaw the details of design as Project Engineer. Project Manager Doug Clyde ensured that construction was meeting their goal of keeping everything compliant with building codes. 

One of the city’s requirements was an energy-efficient building. Doug passionately notes, “The new campus is a very efficient building, designed to a LEEDS standard.” He points out that they met comprehensive design criteria, maximizing their building from an energy point of view for long-term utility. He says, “We chose our materials really well. We were able to make a cost-effective building that will last Peace House for a very long time.”  Kenton Peters emphasizes the effort put into details—like the concrete-looking blocks on the outside of the building that sit over a three-inch rigid layer of foam insulation that wraps the whole building, which provides superior insulation. The heat-pump system, which Kenton notes is 75 to 100 percent more efficient than a traditional heating and cooling system, makes the campus more sustainable. Doug points out the efforts to make the building feel safe and ensure clients’ privacy, which includes an extensive sound-deadening system that entails building walls with wool batting, and hanging sheetrock in a way that helps with sound absorption. Kenton adds, “Right from the start, we wanted the building to be as sustainable and energy efficient as possible, which would lower the cost to operate and was good for the earth and society.”  He continues, “We are trying to heal people and also trying to heal the planet as well.” 

As the building was coming out of the ground, the focus for Sharon Mardula became the details of furnishing and creating a comfortable and pleasing interior. Sharon managed all the in-kind interior donations. Liza Springmeyer, through her time with Ronald McDonald House, had a contact with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, who had donated furnishings to their project. Jim Smith followed up and connected with Deseret Industries, the church’s furniture manufacturing nonprofit industry, which resulted in a substantial donation. Deseret Industries donated nearly all the furniture for the residential housing, including 70 mattress sets with bed frames, nightstands, dressers, and headboards, as well as 30 tables and 130 chairs for use in all of the housing units. 

Other organizations and people made generous donations, including Western Interiors in Salt Lake, who donated all the desks at the campus. Mare Piper, a volunteer at Christian Center in Park City, helped by bringing in additional items from the Christian Center’s donation inventory. Becky Scheider, an interior designer connected to Women Aid, provided professional insights into paint, carpet, and locating other items the shelter needed. USA Premium Leather Furniture of Park City donated beautiful leather couches for the common areas. Sharon notes that these donated goods and services “were invaluable to the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the residences.” 

As the campus was nearing completion, Liza focused on creating the Donor Recognition Committee to help select a meaningful piece of art that would honor the campaign’s generous donors. The committee included gallery owners such as Karen Terzian, as well as members of the Thrive Campaign. The committee invited several artists to share their vision for the centrally placed donor wall, and after much deliberation, the committee chose the vision of artists Kwon Noori Vaughn. The tagline for the campaign is at the bottom of the installation: Out of the shadows and into the light. The piece of art seemingly floats in the entry space as a piece of illuminated vellum reflects the names of the Thrive Campaign donors. The committee’s vision also included a design for the campaign’s Thrive Wall, where donors who gave funds to honor someone that has helped them thrive are listed. At the base of this piece is the quotation from Maya Angelou: “My mission in life is not merely to survive but to thrive.” The two installations complement each other and together create a “meaningful recognition for donors and a beautiful piece for the entry of our community campus,” Liza said in acknowledging the efforts of the committee and the artists’ design.


Summer 2019 brought coordination around moving into the new campus. Jim Smith oversaw the Deseret Industries donations and recruited volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ’s local wards to offload and assemble four semi-trucks worth of furniture. Teresa Tackman, Peace House’s Office Manager, took on the tactical aspects of moving into the new building. Volunteer Coordinator Whitney Atkinson helped orchestrate the large volunteer corps. Sharon Mardula managed the placement of all the items. It was a giant effort that engaged more than one thousand volunteer hours by the time the first shelter clients moved in.  

On August 8, 2019, the new campus received its occupancy permit and the administrative staff officially moved into their new offices and began working at the new campus. With time for program directors to get settled in before clients moved over, Kendra recounts that staff worked hard to make a seamless and safe transition for clients from the old shelter on Marsac Avenue to the new community campus. Their efforts included meeting with each client to create a personalized plan for how they were going to move themselves and their things over on the scheduled date of September 16. Staff was excited to make the move, knowing that the new campus would better meet the needs of survivors, but it was also “a bit of a sad time too,” recalls Kendra. “The house on Marsac had been the cornerstone of the organization for 24 years . . . the old shelter was where the grassroots work began and had felt like home.” Staff identified items in the shelter that they felt were important to bring to the new campus, including some art and an old desk, to remember The Little Red House. A couple of days later, after some cleanup, Kendra handed the keys to Peace House’s past facility to Park City Municipal and they embraced their new home.  

On September 16, 2019, Kendra waited with great anticipation in the new community room of the emergency shelter as the first clients entered the new space for the first time. Kendra describes her experience as she watched the first client enter with her two small children: “Her expression on her face, you could see she was in awe and commented on what a beautiful space [it was], and expressed her gratitude for this opportunity.” Kendra watched as one of her little children navigated the room, finding toys and spaces to play. Kendra remembers this moment as a privilege, seeing the efforts and vision of so many realized. 

The vision became reality because of the remarkable commitment of hundreds of volunteers, donors, committee members, staff, and board members. In the days leading up to clients’ first day in the shelter, Sharon Mardula had all but moved into the residences, working alongside volunteers putting rooms together, stocking kitchens, and installing dozens of donated pieces of art. Laura Arnold oversaw much of the organizing of the pantry and boutique and worked with volunteers on any other jobs that needed to be done. Laura’s husband, Jim Arnold, went about fixing, installing, and hanging everything from art to all of the TVs in the residences. Donors and volunteers arrived to clean spaces, move furniture, stock shelves, and make beds. Sharon describes the experience as “giving birth to 42,000 square feet . . it was that long of a labor,” and incredibly rewarding. 

Ribbon Cutting Celebration: September 21, 2019

In spring 2019, Chair of the Thrive Campaign Karen Marriott and outgoing Chair of the Board Tami Whisker worked together with staff and other committee members to create a memorable event to unveil the new campus to the community. Peace House had been at an undisclosed location for 24 years, and on this day, they planned to welcome community members through the front doors to see what they had helped build. Karen says, “The Ribbon Cutting Celebration was an opportunity to thank donors and all those who had given so generously of their time, talents, and resources for more than a decade to make the new campus a reality.” 

Kendra described seeing the vision for the new campus become a reality as she welcomed the first residents into their new emergency shelter wing earlier that week. Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox recognized the need for Peace House, because one in three women in Utah statistically will be a victim of domestic abuse, while also affirming the state’s commitment to breaking the cycle of abuse. Tami acknowledged the board and committee members who had given tirelessly of their time to support the project.

Jane Patten accepted the honor of a plaque in her name placed outside the front doors of the new campus. With more than two hundred guests present, a line of donors representing public and private partners of Peace House held a purple ribbon—the color of domestic violence awareness—and watched as Kendra cut the ribbon, denoting the official opening of the new campus. Guests enjoyed the beautiful spaces while breakfast, including donuts donated by Summit County’s sheriff’s office, was served on the patio and in the community room. Guests enthusiastically took tours through the new 42,000 square-foot facility. 

Later in the afternoon, a private reception for large donors took place. Donors had an opportunity to see the spaces named in their honor and received personalized bronze statues depicting a woman lifting up her child. The statues recognized their generosity in helping to build a place where victims and their children would thrive. 

Kendra remembers what a “powerful day it was to see the efforts of so many people coming together and sending a message to survivors in the community that you are important, you are valued, and we are going to make services and support for you a priority.” 

Peace House Community Campus

Following the morning’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, guests toured the campus, many beginning with the 12 transitional housing apartments designed to accommodate up to 36 residents comfortably from six months to two years. The transitional housing wing offers a shared common space with a kitchen for group gatherings as well. The small Peace Room provides clients a quiet space for reflection outside their apartments.

The emergency shelter also resides on the second floor of the campus and is separated from the transitional housing wing. A victim advocates’ office divides the spaces, which allows advocates to be available to residents 24 hours a day. The shelter offers eight rooms and can hold up to 24 clients, whose average length of stay is around thirty days.  For flexibility, the bedrooms are adjoined to lockout rooms that may be opened to accommodate families that have more children, providing two additional beds in each lockout. These same lockouts are also incorporated into the transitional housing units and may be configured to meet the needs of the families living in transitional housing units.

The emergency shelter includes a large, shared kitchen and living space that allows multiple families to prepare meals at the same time. The room offers comfortable spaces to gather and eat as a family, or for individuals to work and/or eat in, as well as spaces for children to play and others to watch television. The Peace Room provides clients a quiet space where they can catch their breath and regroup. An enclosed patio has protected space for clients and their children to enjoy the outdoors. Both sides of the residential areas have spacious laundry rooms for clients to do their own laundry, as well as supplies to keep their own spaces clean. 

Thoughtfully located near the emergency shelter is the intake room, where advocates screen clients before they come into the shelter for the first time. A protected parking lot for residents provides additional security. The well-stocked food pantry offers groceries and other items for emergency shelter clients during their stay. A childcare space sits just across from a protected outdoor courtyard that includes a playground for children and a grassy area where clients may gather safely outside. The childcare area is designed to be used for daycare and indoor playtime for residents’ children, as well as for outreach clients who come to Peace House to meet with their case managers, legal advocates, or therapists. 

The new campus now houses clinical therapy suites on the main floor where trained therapists may conveniently meet with clients to provide trauma-informed care. Some of the suites are designed specifically for children so that therapists may incorporate play therapy. The Legal Advocacy program resides within the community resource center, where legal advocates provide support to clients who may need help with completing protective orders or finding legal aid. A multiple-use classroom is available to staff, residents and outreach clients. A client supplies store, also known as the boutique, offers clothing items for clients who may come to Peace House with only the clothes on their backs.

The east wing off the main entry is home to the administrative and development offices, as well as a kitchen. Staff use this kitchen, and it also is a place to prepare and serve food for events and gatherings held in the spacious community room. The community room is a public gathering space for advocate and volunteer training sessions, staff meetings, board and committee meetings, social events, and outreach group therapy.

As guests toured the campus and moved through three different levels of security, they were able to see how the whole building was designed with the security of their clients and staff in mind. Security begins as guests enter through two sets of front doors where visitors must identify themselves and their purpose for coming to Peace House. The entry glows with the Kwon Noori Vaughn-designed donor wall, which is flanked by two check-in desks: one leading to the administrative wing where volunteers and guests check-in, and the other where clients check in and have access to a secured waiting area before meeting with their service provider. This main entry is also accessible to the staff of the human resources office, the education and outreach offices, the program director’s office, the development team’s offices, the accounting office, and the volunteer coordinator’s area. 

As guests at the Ribbon Cutting Celebration toured the new building, they could better understand the wrap-around services that clients have free access to at Peace House. They could feel and see the use of light and the intentional layout of the building that provides well-lit spaces and privacy for clients. They could admire the donated decorative items as they walked through fully furnished rooms and apartments, and appreciate how the use of trauma-informed colors, light, and design help create safe and comfortable spaces for healing.  

All those involved in the project say that they feel a great sense of pride as they drive by the building along the highway or as they go to and from the Park City Hospital. The community campus offers a beacon of hope to all survivors. It stands surrounded by community partners and brings the topic of domestic violence out of a place of shame and into a place of healing. It is a testament to what can happen when a group of people with unique talents and a shared passion and commitment to ending violence can accomplish as they work together and give generously of what they have to offer. It will stand as a place of healing to all who go through its doors for years to come.

Researched and written by Karen Marriott

Edited by Sandra More

1.Utah Construction & Design Magazine

  1. Jim Smith; Jane Patten; Karla Knox, Board Treasurer;  and Bob Dillon, Real Estate Attorney for Peace House, sign the land lease with Intermountain on February 20, 2015

2. Ribbon Cutting Celebration (2019)

3. Kendra Wyckoff, Executive Director; Jane Patten, former Executive Director; Karen Marriott, Thrive Campaign Chair; and Liza Springmeyer, Campaign Manager at Be Our Star event at Utah Film Studios (2017)

4. Peace House board and team members at Ribbon Cutting Celebration: Liza Springmeyer; Karen Marriott; Melissa Caffey; Sue Proctor; Sharon Mardula; Sally Tauber, Director of Development; Kendra Wyckoff; Tami Whisker, Board Chair; Jim Smith; and Doug Clyde

5. Sharon Mardula, Project Engineer, and Doug Clyde, Project Manager, stand in Peace House entry by the Kwon Noori Vaughn donor wall.

6. Emergency shelter community dining room and kitchen

7. Child therapy room at new campus

8. Jane Patten stands by plaque that honors her vision and efforts outside the new campus 

9. Donors Ali and Nick Widdison stand in front of the Thrive Wall

10. Tim Savage, Director of Program Operations, gives donors and friends of Peace House a tour of new campus at the Ribbon Cutting Celebration