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
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.
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
Architectural Design and Site Planning
Ground-Breaking Ceremony with Breckenridge's Mayor, community members, project partners, and donors
Construction! CLICK HERE to check out our progress
Breckenridge Grand Vacations Community Center and new South Branch Library Grand Opening
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)
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
@ 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!