LEADVILLE, Colo. (CBS4)– After a strong winter battered the old Tabor Opera House, emergency repairs are set to begin. That’s in part thanks to grant funding and a committed community.
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Construction will begin this fall on the historic Tabor Opera House, nearly 2½ years after its acquisition by the City of Leadville and multiple fundraising rounds. The $830,000 grant from Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) makes the repairs possible.
The state Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance (EMIA) funds were awarded April 1 to the City for the Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation.
“This is a huge win for the opera house project,” said Leadville Mayor Greg Labbe.
He convinced Leadville’s City Council last month to provide a $20,000 match to strengthen the grant application.
Mary Ann Graham-Best has been a driving force behind the scenes to save the historic treasured part of Colorado history.READ MORE: Flat Tire Causes Blue Angel To Make Emergency Landing At Great Colorado Air Show
“This grant gets us going on Phase I of our $10 million rehabilitation. DOLA’s grant plus the City’s match, together with last year’s $500,000 National Park Service grant and the $150,000 from the Main Street Program’s Partners in Preservation campaign last fall, gives us the $1.5 million we need to start construction this fall,” Graham-Best said in a statement.
Tabor fans in Colorado and nationwide secured the $150,000 by voting online over six weeks and winning the Tabor first place in the national Partners in Preservation contest.
Scaffolding will go up this fall, in the Tabor’s 140th anniversary year with completion expected in June 2020.
According to officials, the first construction phase will fix gaps that allow water to further damage the windows, bricks, and chimneys on the most fragile west and south walls. The funds will protect these walls from another winter in the harsh climate of North America’s highest city, at 10,152 feet.
The City of Leadville and the Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation will begin securing funding for the next phase in 2019, with the goal of securing the two remaining exterior walls in late 2020.MORE NEWS: Breast Cancer Survivors In Colorado Gather For First Time In 2 Years: 'This Is An Emotional Moment'