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Last updated 7:40PM ET
December 11, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Two Area Historic Projects Move Forward
(2007-08-15)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: Two area historic preservation efforts have reached significant milestones, involving millions of dollars.
The projects involve archeologically and architecturally significant sites Southwest and North of Durango.
In the first of two reports, KSUT's Victor Locke today looks at a new development involving the old Fort Lewis School.

VICTOR: The more than 63-hundred acre reservation Southwest of Durango that once was Fort Lewis, then an Indian Boarding School, then Fort Lewis High School, remains alive with activity today.
Colorado State University maintains an agricultural research station there.
It also serves as a base for the San Juan Hot Shots and the Mesa Verde Helitac operations.
The library building on the campus hosts numerous organizations and events, functioning much like a community center.
And the land continues to hold hundreds, if not thousands of stories about the past.
A historic designation granted to the school last year, one of the first issued by La Plata County, is now paying off.
A nearly 145-thousand dollar grant has been awarded to Fort Lewis College from the State Historical Fund, to begin efforts to save what remains of the school.
Ken Francis, Director of the Fort Lewis Community Services office says the monies will fund repairs on the 1930's era Library building on the campus.
FRANCIS: IT'S GONNA BE USED PRIMARILY FOR CORRECTING SOME ROOFING PROBLEMS. WE HAVE A ROOF THAT HAS LEAKED IN THE PAST AND HAS DAMAGED SOME OF THE VERY BEAUTIFUL HAND PAINTED INTERIOR CEILING TILE. AND IT WILL GET THE RESTROOMS BACK IN WORKING ORDER.
Francis says the work on the library building is only a first phase.
Additional funds will be sought once this work is complete, to finish restoring the building.
The grant for the library is actually one of two grants received this year for the Fort Lewis Site.
FRANCIS: WE ALSO HAVE A STATE HISTORICAL FUND GRANT TO DO A HISTORIC AND ARCHEOLOGICAL PRESERVATION PLAN FOR A 247 ACRE DISTRICT, WHICH INCLUDES THE CORE CAMPUS AND ALL THE BUILDINGS IN THAT OLD HISTORIC CAMPUS PLUS THE IMMEDIATE PERIMETER WITH SOME KEY ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES WHICH INCLUDES THE OLD FORT LEWIS TOLL ROAD, CEMETARY, TARGET RANGE, DUMP, A NUMBER OF THINGS LIKE THAT.
Much of the work at the Fort Lewis site as part of that 40-thousand dollar grant, is being done by students, turning the entire site into a large outdoor classroom.
FRANCIS: IT'S AN EXTREMELY RICH ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE SO IT HAS ALL SORTS OF POTENTIAL. WE WERE JUST WORKING ON THE 247 ACRES THIS SUMMER, WE HAVE ANOTHER 6-THOUSAND PLUS ACRES OUT THERE AS WELL WHICH WE KNOW HAS A LOT OF PREHISTORIC ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES ON IT AS WELL. IT'S A HUGE OUTDOOR CLASSROOM OPPORTUNITY FOR FORT LEWIS COLLEGE.
Francis says it will take years for the learning and research to be completed at Fort Lewis.
Much of the work will be dependent on grant funding.
FRANCIS: THERE'S AN AWFUL LOT OF WORK THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO BOTH STABILIZE AND RESTORE SOME OF THOSE BUILDINGS OUT THERE, SO THAT'S THE SENSE OF URGENCY, THAT WE'VE IGNORED THEM FOR A LONG TIME.
Ultimately, Francis hopes a use and management plan for the more than 6-thousand acres can be developed, identifying how the property can be used by the public, and perhaps the school, for the long term.
Another area historic preservation effort has charged ahead and celebrates a major milestone this weekend. I'll have that story tomorrow at this time.
From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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