Kersey Community Center at the Grange
In 2016, the Town of Kersey (Town), with direction from residents, the Mayor and Board of Trustees, updated and adopted the Kersey Comprehensive Plan. The plan includes a goal to "Emphasize the significance of key community places and buildings" and states the Town should "explore grant possibility for restoration of historic buildings."
The Town was recently awarded a grant from Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) for the purchase and renovation of the Platte Valley Grange No. 455, located at 215 Second Street in Kersey. PDC Energy, Silicon Ranch and the Boettcher Foundation have each donated funds to help the Town's reach it's match.
The Kersey Community Center at the Grange will serve as a Senior Center during the day and a Youth and Family Center in the evening. The Town plans on extending the hours of the Senior Center to accommodate new programming and activities. The Town also plans to create a youth mentoring program to help our young adults figure out the types of careers they may be interested in and learn about the skills they will need to attain them. Additionally this space will be used as a meeting space and available for rentals.
The Platte Valley Grange No. 455 was organized in Kersey on March 23, 1944. According to Wikipedia, "The Grange, officially referred to as The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, is a fraternal organization in the United States that encourages families to band together to promote the economic and political well-being of the community and agriculture."
According to a local paper at the time, (source unknown) the Kersey's Grange Hall was built in 1953, costing $6,000.00 Grange Members traveled to Denver to purchase the cinder block, and to build the roof members, of the Grange dismantled a potato dugout for the two by six boards.
After a significant effort to rehabilitate the current structure the building unfortunately could not be saved. The building was demolished in January of 2019 making way for a new community/senior center to be built in 2019.
Beginning in 2017, the Town Board and staff began looking for ways to solve several issues including an effort to revitalize downtown Kersey, make room for the library district to expand, and also solve the need for additional office space within the current Town Hall. A potential solution presented itself in the form of a historic warehouse in downtown Kersey made available to the Town to purchase. Located at 446 1st St. in Kersey, the building presently known as the Kersey Co-op building is now owned by the Town along with 440 1st. St. directly to the north.
In 2018, the Town worked with the University of Colorado Denver's Urban Technical Assistance program and looked to incorporate many features inside the new building. The team quickly realized there were greater opportunities in downtown Kersey to help create a public parking lot, plaza, and a future streetscape plan. The Town Center project was born!
Part one of the Town Center project includes a complete remodel of 440 1st. St., paving of a public parking lot directly to the east of this building, and razing 440 1st. St. The Town applied for an Energy Impact Grant through the Department of Local Affairs and in December was awarded the maximum amount of $1 million! The Town will match the additional $1m through additional grants, agreements, and enterprise funding to hopefully get this project built by the end of 2019. The Town is hopeful the High Plains Library District will occupy the current Town Hall.