Mancos’ historic Mount Lookout Grange is in need of serious repairs, according to the Grange’s board of directors.
While there are several projects in line for the site along Grand Avenue, the board’s priorities include repairing the exterior stucco and improving the building’s insulation, along with raising the ceiling and replacing the overhead fluorescents. The directors are seeking community support for the projects.
“The Grange board has made the decision that we can no longer ignore the physical condition of the Grange Hall,” directors said in a statement. “Therefore, we have decided to start a building fund to begin necessary repairs and upgrades. We will do what we can with the contributions we receive.”
The building currently houses the Mount Lookout Grange, part of the National Grange organization, an agricultural advocacy group, but it has seen a few different inhabitants over the past century.
The space was used by the Zion Lutheran Church, before the Grange moved into the spot in the 1940s. Four decades later, the space was taken over by the Mancos Head Start, until the Mancos Preschool was built in 2013 and the Head Start program left.
And after the Head Start moved out, some local volunteers decided to revive the Grange. It now offers a gathering space for locals to rent out, in addition to hosting community dinners and other events.
The upcoming replacements are not the first in recent years for the Grange. Using funds from a $3,000 grant awarded by the local nonprofit Onward! A Legacy Foundation, the board replaced the building’s old baseboard heaters, repaired the old sheetrock on the hall’s interior walls and applied new paint.
Now, they are looking to complete two new projects. The first would involve repairing the exterior stucco and improving the building’s insulation, while the second would entail raising the ceiling and replacing the overhead fluorescents with more efficient LED lighting.
In the future, they also hope to implement fully solar powered systems in the building, extend the porch, fix and rearrange the back entrance, build a pergola, and spruce up the yard.
While they might be able to apply for some grants, board directors said, they would still need to offer matching funds to acquire these. For more information or to contact the board, visit the Mount Lookout Grange website.