Grand Lake backs Community House upgrades |

Grand Lake backs Community House upgrades

Town officials want a new marquee as well

Efforts are underway to install a new sound system, theatrical lighting and video capabilities at the Grand Lake Community House with town leaders voicing support for the project on Monday.
Courtesy Town of Grand Lake

Facing a question about diverting money away from a new town marquee to help pay for upgrades at the Community House, Grand Lake trustees struggled on Monday to prioritize one over the other.

Saying the marquee and Community House are both important, a handful of trustees told town staff to try to find enough money for both projects.

During discussions, trustees agreed the Community House upgrades would serve more people, but they also thought a marquee would help bring more people into the events, so they hoped the two efforts could be pursued side by side.

Support for the Community House additions came after Grand Lake Creative District Chair Ken Fucik talked about the Community House’s future, calling the building the “heart of community” and saying there’s “a lot of potential for it.”

Built in 1921, the Community House is celebrating its 100th year anniversary, and Fucik explained that the Creative District has been working in coordination with the town to raise money for a new sound system, theatrical lighting and video system capable of playing movies.

The Community House is in Town Square Park and comes with a 175-person capacity. The building is town-owned and rented out for a variety of public and private events.

Fucik said they’re targeting a fall completion date or earlier and looking at a $95,000-$105,000 estimate for the equipment and a minimal amount of installation work. He is also looking for potential grant funding.

Fucik said local organizations, such as the Women’s Club, Rotary Club, Arts Council, Grand Lake Creative District, historical society and the Grand Lake Chamber have all come out in support of the effort, and the upgrades would heighten the Community House’s potential to hold events like dances, movie nights, potluck dinners, group meetings, Rotary bingo and more.

“Basically the idea is to bring back the Community House where it can be more frequently used in the winter,” Fucik said.

The town has been pursuing a new marquee and designated about $39,000 for it while awaiting full pricing and eyeing potential grants to help offset the cost of the marquee.

On Monday, the town manager framed a question before the board, asking if trustees would like the town to keep the money on the marquee, move it to the Community House additions or try find a way to pursue both projects.

In response, trustees voiced support for both projects.

On Thursday, Town Manager John Crone said Grand Lake will need to find another $40,000-$50,000 in the budget to take on both projects. However, he added that the general fund balance is in pretty good financial shape, or at least it’s doing much better than originally anticipated when COVID-19 first hit.

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