Steamboat Springs Work has begun on a $400,000 restoration of the city-owned Rehder Building downtown. The work is not expected to have a significant impact on Steamboat Art Museum operations.
Holmquist-Lorenz Construction Company, which also performed restoration work on the historic Routt County Courthouse downtown, has been contracted to perform the work, which is being aided by $150,000 in grant money from the Colorado State Historical Fund. City Facilities Manager Bob Robichaud said the work will be completed this year and includes window and masonry restoration, the replacement of a door and floor reinforcement.
"It has to be done before it gets cold because of the work we're doing," Robichaud said.
Deputy City Manager Wendy DuBord said the renovations are part of about $1 million worth of needed maintenance that has been identified for the Rehder Building. The work was previously postponed because of budget concerns and was almost delayed indefinitely when DuBord recommended that the city return money from the Rehder Building fund to the operations budget and forfeit the grants. City Council ultimately decided against that move.
Details about when the remaining renovations will be completed, and whether they will be carried out by the city or Steamboat Art Museum, have yet to be determined. The two parties' attorneys are working to craft a 99-year lease for the building, which also is home to Antares restaurant through the 2009-10 ski season. The museum rents space in the Rehder Building for $1 a year.
The late Helen Rehder bequeathed the century-old Rehder Building at Eighth Street and Lincoln Avenue to the city in 2004 on the condition that it "be designated and preserved as a historical monument, and that it be operated as a museum for the preservation and commemoration of the lifestyles of settlers in Routt County."
"We are very excited," Steamboat Art Museum Board of Directors President Shirley Stocks said about the restoration work. "It's a wonderful, old building, and part of Helen Rehder's legacy was that the building be restored and maintained as a museum."
Stokes said the museum's hours will not be affected by the work. The only impact, she said, is that the museum's main entrance on Lincoln Avenue is closed until the scaffolding is fully installed. In the meantime, visitors can use the museum's Eighth Street entrance.