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City mulls museum move

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Fort Lupton eyes museum transfer to historical society

By Gene Sears

As Colorado cities go, Fort Lupton is particularly abundant in history. Better still, that history is preserved via a multitude of artifacts, now split between the Fort Lupton City Museum and the South Platte Valley Historical Society. That may change, if talks between the two entities bear fruit.
    According to Fort Lupton City Manager Claud Hanes, preliminary discussions are under way to study the possibility of moving the city museum collection under the auspices of the society.
    “There have been some informal discussions, yes,” Haines said. “Because the fort has been considering an interpretive center, so there has been talk of instead of having a museum here, and a museum there, maybe we ought to combine it. But it’s strictly in the discussion phase.”

    The talk centers around city logic aimed at conserving space and dollars, both at a premium in the current location.
    “Basically, we came up with the idea,” Hanes said. “It may make more sense to have it (the collection) out there.”
    To enable the move, the society would need to move forward with plans to build an interpretive/visitors center, something that has been in the long range planning stages for some time.
    “That is where the discussion is going, because South Platte came to us and said we need water and sewer out there,” Hanes said. “I said if you need water and sewer, then you need a purpose for it, it’s expensive. So we have been talking to them about a lot of different ideas, about how they can pay for it and all of this kind of stuff.”
    Those discussions resulted in the floating of an idea for locating the interpretive center. Positioned toward the southern edge of the historic park, the center would house both city and society artifacts, in a central location for visitors to enjoy.
    “It would make it (the museum) more of a destination,” Hanes said.
    Any such center would fall under the financial support of the SPVHS, as would upkeep of the collection. Hanes said the move would save the city about $90,000 per year, the current budget for the city museum. It would also free up some badly needed space at the city office basement, where overflow from the museum resides.
    “Well, we are out of space,” Hanes said. “I could move some operations over there, free up some space here. But that is purely theoretical at this point.”

Contact Staff Writer Gene Sears at gsears@metrowestnewspapers.com.