By Dillon Thomas
GLEN HAVEN, Colo. (CBS4) – More than five years after record flooding made its way through the small town of Glen Haven, residents celebrated the completion of their final restoration project, the town hall.
At the grand opening of their new town hall, residents thanked the community for their donations, as well as CBS4 viewers for offering their time to help build the structure.
The original town hall was located along a river, which claimed the building during the 2013 floods.
“2013 devastated Glen Haven,” said Steve Childs, a resident. “We lost 26 houses, seven of the nine businesses that were here, all of the roads, and all of the bridges.”
Once most of those structures and roadways were replaced, residents turned their focus to rebuilding the town hall. With a population of roughly 400 people, Glen Haven does not receive tax revenue. Therefore, funding for the rebuilding project of town hall was left to fundraising and labor hours donated.
“Once the sleeves were rolled up, the shovels came out, the hammers came out, people started seeing what they could accomplish,” Childs said. “There was no stopping (volunteers.)”
The community raised a lot of the money themselves through donations. Larger donations were also made by outside foundations.
Volunteer Project Manager Jake Shimon, a resident, also applauded CBS4 viewers for helping make the new town hall a reality. Thanks to a story in March by CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann, Glen Haven was given an extra boost in their efforts.
“The last broadcast we had on CBS4 encouraged people to step up, and send donations,” Shimon said. “But, also, we had two contractors that stepped up.”
The project cost more than $600,000 to complete, including purchase of the property.
After five years of rebuilding their community, some residents said the completion of the town hall was the final touch to move on from the floods of 2013.
“The bonds in the community are tighter than they ever were before,” Childs said. “(I am) happy to be together, and happy to have a place to be together.”
Many of the pieces from the old town hall were salvaged and used in the new structure. Restored items included windows from the old building.
“I think the message here is, no matter what befalls a community, tragedy or natural disaster, there is a way through it,” Childs told CBS4 reporter Dillon Thomas. “All you can do is link arms, put your differences aside, get together and work. And, it has been the most gratifying thing of my life.”
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.