Part of art center floor unsafe after flood |

Part of art center floor unsafe after flood

The Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts is looking for a temporary space for some of its classes after a section of its floor was deemed unsafe following a flash flood last weekend.

“The arts council and the City of Glenwood Springs are being very proactive in protecting our citizens and protecting this historic building,” said Executive Director Christina Brusig, who went before City Council Thursday night in an effort to ask for help.

Chief among the alternative locations considered, according to Brusig, is the former Glenwood Springs library, currently vacant pending a Garfield County senior center plan. Other possibilities include the Glenwood Springs Recreation Center, school buildings and the Masonic Lodge downtown.

“We love where we are and definitely consider it home, but we will continue serving our mission, even if we’re not in this building,” Brusig said Friday.

She told City Council members that part of the floor used for dance classes was “soft” and an engineer would examine the building Friday to evaluate its structural integrity.

“I’m extremely concerned for the safety of our patrons,” she told Council, noting that the center is heavily reliant on revenue from its classes.

Mayor Mike Gamba said an insurance claim has been made on the city-owned Center for the Arts building, a historic former hydroelectric plant on East Sixth Street.

No classes were scheduled for Friday or over the weekend, but nearly 300 summer students are scheduled for classes in the visual and performing arts beginning Monday. Some spaces, such as the pottery studio and upstairs offices, were not affected and may continue to operate normally.

The flood took place Sunday afternoon, when a torrential downpour hit Glenwood Springs. Terri Muldoon happened to be at the building preparing for Strawberry Days, and was able to move the baby grand piano and other items out of harm’s way as water began flowing under the front door. It took a few days before the extent of the structural became apparent.

“Part of it is due to the fact that we’re in a very historic building, but part of it is also due to the flood,” Brusig said.

She also wondered if the incident is related to the nearby construction of a temporary Interstate 70 off-ramp as part of the Grand Avenue bridge project. At times, traffic will have to be routed off of I-70 in front of the center, and road and barrier work has been done to accommodate that need.

“It’s rained a hell of a lot harder and never flooded our building,” Brusig said. “I’m not pointing the finger at anyone, I just know that this has caused a problem for us. We’re coming together as an art center family to solve it however we can.”

Tom Newland, communications manager for the Grand Avenue bridge project, said Friday he would make inquiries about the situation, but didn’t know if any drainage work was planned.

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