Palisade, library district go for $1 million grant

The town of Palisade and the Mesa County Public Library District have applied for nearly $1 million in state grant funding to continue renovating the former Palisade High School.

The money would help pay for a new Palisade branch library, a community room, a lobby and restrooms within the 42,000-square-foot school, which town officials plan to convert into what will be known as the Palisade Civic Center.

Officials rushed to seek funding after learning the Colorado Department of Revenue would accept another round of applications for energy-impact grants.

“I think it would be great,” Palisade Town Administrator Tim Sarmo said of the prospect of a grant that would help cover the $2.3 million project cost. “I think it’s a very strong application.”

Town and library officials have had discussions about allocating 5,000 square feet within the civic center for the Palisade branch, which operates out of a roughly 3,000-square-foot trailer next to the school. The library’s lease on the trailer space expires next year.

“The current library is fairly inadequate out there,” Library Director Eve Tallman said, because it is crowded and has a “warehouse feel” to it. “This would be yet another effort on the part of the library district to improve our facilities in a pretty meaningful way.”

Sarmo said he hopes to learn in November or December whether the town and library will receive the grant.

The town completed the first phase of the civic center in June when it opened a renovated 4,200-square-foot gymnasium. Future phases could include new offices for the town administration and the Police Department, new Town Board chambers and a new fire station next to the civic center.


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