Breckenridge Grand Vacations Community Center and New Library

The Town of Breckenridge and Summit County are collaborating to renovate the 1909 Breckenridge Schoolhouse. It will gain new prominence, building on its legacy of education and civic pride. The 1909 Breckenridge Schoolhouse is a registered Breckenridge Landmark and also contributes to Breckenridge's National Historic District. The renovation of the Schoolhouse will cost approximately $7.4 million. The Town of Breckenridge and Summit County have committed $2.725 and $2.675 million, respectively, to the project. A Capital Campaign Steering Committee comprised of community volunteers and leaders is seeking an additional $2 million in grants and donations to restore the Schoolhouse as a Community Center featuring the South Branch of the Summit County Library, a new 160 seat full feature film theatre, a community conference space, and other amenities in the heart of Breckenridge.

The new, modernized South Branch Library will replace the existing library on Airport Road. Built in 1996, the current library has experience 266% growth and now serves more than 80,000 users each year. The new Library will include multipurpose meeting spaces, and feature designated children and young adult areas, expanded adult stacks and reading areas, state-of-the-art technology, improved work space for staff, and a welcoming circulation desk. Additional highlights to the Summit Center include a renovated Speakeasy Theatre, a catering kitchen, and outdoor reading deck. The Town of Breckenridge is also committing approximately 3,000 square feet in the Community Center to house community service and non-profit organizations.

For more information, please call Leah at 970-453-9767 x104

Brick Schoolhouse Photo




With the growing population of school-aged children, the 1882 school in Breckenridge was bursting at the seams. By 1908, the town could no longer ignore the need for a new school. In that year, an election resulted in 57 votes to float a $20,000 bond to finance the structure, sowing support of 97% of the voters. Under roof by October of 1908, the Schoolhouse, though not completely finished, first opened to visitors on February 7, 1909. Students from around the county attended school in Breckenridge because the curriculum offered the only opportunity in Summit County to earn a high school diploma. Because towns such as Montezuma were a full day away, students from that town and other distant mining towns and camps boarded in Breckenridge in order to attend. The school opened with 13 high school students and 139 elementary students under the directions of six teachers. Attendance increased, and voters passed a $35,000 bond to construct an addition at the rear of the building that included an auditorium, gymnasium, and an indoor swimming pool. The addition opened to students in September 1921. Classes met in the building until 1961. The building sat empty except for dances in the gymnasium sponsored by the fire department and its ladies auxiliary.

The Town acquired the Schoolhouse and moved Town Hall into the building in December 1966. The volunteer fire department soon relocated to the building after the swimming pool was filled in and remodeled. The building also housed the Town Marshall's living quarters, police department, library, drivers' licensing bureau, and a number of private businesses.

Colorado Mountain College (CMC) purchased the building in July 1977 and completed extensive remodeling. Builders divided the old gym into classrooms and added a theatre. They also stripped carpeting from the original wood floors, knocked down layers of plaster from the original brick walls, and retained sculpted black iron radiators from sheet rock and chicken wire coverings. The restoration process also revealed a pressed-metal ceiling hidden above a dropped ceiling, as well as arched windows with original glass and original hand-carved woodwork.

Picture1
harris st project - old pic
Jerry Dziedzic, Committee Co-Chair - President, Breckenridge Heritage Alliance

Brian Edney, Committee Co-Chair – President, Summit County Library Foundation

Thomas Davidson – Summit County Commissioner

Wendy Wolfe – Breckenridge Town Council

Laurie Best – Town of Breckenridge Planning Department

Marsha Cooper – Summit County Library Board of Directors

Paul Olson – Summit County Library Foundation

Mary Lynne Kneller – Summit County Library Foundation

Carol Roslund – Secretary, Summit County Library Foundation

Larissa O’Neil – Executive Director, Breckenridge Heritage Alliance

Anderson Hallas Architects of Golden, Colorado was selected for the design of the Breckenridge Grand Vacations Community Center and new South Branch Library. The firm is a leader in municipal design, historic preservation, adaptive use and sustainable design. Founded in 1990, Anderson Hallas has designed and led unique and complex projects across the state, including the American Alpine Museum in Golden, the Belmar, Golden and Ignacio Libraries, the Silverton School rehabilitation as well as many visitor centers, town halls, churches, educational buildings, hotels and civic buildings throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Awards include Firm of the Year from the American Institute of Architects Colorado Chapter, the Presidential Award for Save America's Treasures, multiple Stephen H. Hart Awards from History Colorado, as well as honors from the Denver Regional Council of Governments, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Colorado Preservation Inc.
Anderson Hallas
Libraries of the future will connect entire communities, acting as local gathering places and fostering civic engagement and cultural opportunities. In the past, libraries have existed has repositories for printed materials, as well as a central point for scholarly congregation. The next generation of libraries will integrate all needs into one central location. By adaptively reusing the 1909 Breckenridge schoolhouse, the new South Branch library will embrace Breckenridge’s history and extend the library’s reading and learning mission into the 21st century. The facility will employ a multi-level format that will meet the current programming needs and anticipated future growth. The conceptual plan for the new Library includes three levels: the main floor will house children, junior, teen, and adult areas, combined with a computer center. A reading balcony, accessed from the main level, will provide lounge reading space and spectacular mountain views. The mezzanine level will accommodate the remaining adult book stacks. Private study rooms and a cozy reading nook with a fireplace will complete the second level. The proposed design also includes an outdoor patio area. In the basement, a new community room will allow for expanded library programs, for example travel slideshows and children’s events. The new Library will infuse our community, embrace new opportunities, provide access to diverse groups and continue to fulfill the Library’s time-honored mission for generations to come.
Sketch - Library Entry

September 2012 - June 2013

Architectural Design and Site Planning

July 06, 2013

Ground-Breaking Ceremony with Breckenridge's Mayor, community members, project partners, and donors

July 2013 - - -

Construction! CLICK HERE to check out our progress

We're Almost There! CLICK HERE for the latest updates

August 17, 2014

Join us for a Sneak Peek event before the building is closed to complete the final stages of construction prior to the grand opening. This event is free and open to the public and will include tours of the building. Founders' Circle donors will also have the opportunity to pick up their goodie bags at this event. CLICK HERE for more details.

December 2014

Breckenridge Grand Vacations Community Center and new South Branch Library Grand Opening - stay tuned, more details coming in the fall.

The hit! © Jen Baldwin, Ancestral Journeys, 2013

 

Articles (click on article title to read more about this exciting community project)

A Summit County School of Yesterday, Reborn as a Library of Today (Community Radio for Northern Colorado, NPR: September 12, 2014)

For New Breckenridge Community Center, Contractors Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (Summit Daily News: August 23, 2014)

Breckenridge Community Center Renovation Keeps Eye on Environment (Summit Daily News: August 16, 2014)

Boettcher Foundation Awards $40,000 Grant to New Breckenridge Library (Summit Daily News: June 13, 2014)

Breckenridge Library, Community Center Project Proceeds on Schedule (Summit Daily News: May 03, 2014)

Summit Quilters Creating Piece to Hang in Breckenridge Library (Summit Daily News: April 22, 2014)

Breckenridge Community Center Paints Picture of Restoration Progress (Summit Daily News: March 25, 2014)

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Breckenridge Ski Resort Makes Contribution to New Harris Street Community Center (Summit Daily News: February 06, 2014

Breckenridge community center campaign gives final push for $2 million goal (Summit Daily News: January 22, 2014)

Breckenridge Grand Vacations Donates $500,000 for Naming Rights to New Community Center (Summit Daily; October 02, 2013)

Breckenridge's Old CMC Building Begins Next Chapter (Summit Daily; July 07, 2013)

Summit Library Foundation Gets $100k Grant for New Building (Summit Daily; May 03, 2013)

Breckenridge's Speakeasy Theatre Goes Dark (Summit Daily; April 22, 2013)

Video and Audio (click on video/audio title to hear more about this exciting community project)

A Summit County School of Yesterday, Reborn as a Library of Today (Community Radio for Northern Colorado, NPR: September 12, 2014)

Summit High Grad of 1956 Tours the New Breckenridge Grand Vacations Community Center (published August 13, 2014)

Breckenridge Grand Vacations Community Center: We're Almost There! (published July 09, 2014)

@ Your Library in Studio (published March 27, 2014)

@ Your Library Building Tour on March 17th (published March 17, 2014)

Breckenridge Grand Vacations Community Center Movie Trailer (published March 03, 2014)

Name a Seat at the Breckenridge Speakeasy! (published March 03, 2014)

Krystal Conversations: Future of the Harris Street Building (aired on February 13, 2014)

Breckenridge Grand Vacations Community Center: Historical Restoration Project (published October 07, 2013)

Gifts of all sizes are welcome!

All donations will be acknowledged on-site and donations of $1,000 or more will be recognized on a special donor wall by the entrance to the new library. Click Here to view our virtual donor wall.

Join the Founders' Circle!

For a minimum donation of $100, we invite you to join the Founders' Circle! Donors will receive a commemorative book bag, a limited edition South Branch library card, a Speakeasy concessions stand punch pass, two Heritage Alliance 2-for-1 tour passes, a VIP invitation to the ribbon cutting ceremony, and a Founders' Circle certificate signed by the Town Mayor and County Commissioners. Click here to complete the Founder's Circle form.

Donate through the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance:  To donate using a credit card, please click on the Donate button below. If you wish to be part of the Founders' Circle, please be type "Founders' Circle" in the special instructions box at checkout. To donate via check, please mail to the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance at PO Box 2460 Breckenridge, CO 80424. Thank you!




Donate through the Summit County Library Foundation: Click here to be directed to the Library Foundation donation page. Thank you!

SOLD OUT!

Thank you to all who bought naming rights for the movie theater seat! If you are interested in donating to this project please call Leah at 970-453-9767 x104.

Virtual Donor Wall

Why is the building called the Breckenridge Grand Vacations Community Center? Click here to learn more about the project, how it is being funded and how this historic building got it's new name.
Donor Wall 7-25-14
updated July 25, 2014