published: June 2019

Moffat Town Hall & Community Center opens with great fanfare

by Leigh Mills

The Town of Moffat has a beautiful jewel in a restored historic landmark now open to the public.  For many years, the Moffat Town Board and residents saw a need for a centrally located building to host meetings and gatherings.  To fill this need, the Town of Moffat acquired the First Baptist Church building in 2002 and began its renovation as a way to preserve history and build community.

Exterior renovations included repairing corner blocks so damaged the interior was exposed to weather and birds nested in the concrete holes.

Located at 401 Lincoln Street, the First Baptist Church had its cornerstone laid in 1911 and served the community for many years until structural concerns closed it in the late 1980’s.  After the Historic Structure Assessment in 2003, first phase of construction began in 2004 and the last phase completed just before the April 6th, 2019 Grand Opening. In 2008, it was designated in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Grand Opening celebration of this momentous achievement drew over 130 people.  Folks came from all over CO and parts of the US. Old, new, and future residents shared their memories of the Baptist Church, their restoration involvement, and visions for using the new Community Center.  One couple who were married there in 1962 came to see the new building; and Moffat Mayor Patricia Reigel told me that back in 1973, a cow had a calf on the front steps while the building was still in use.  Sarah Van Horn, Moffat Town Clerk/Treasurer, said she “grew up coming to Moffat and always loved this building.  When I moved here, I just had to help with the grant writing; and now I work here full time, so it’s extra special.”

The total project cost was $720,000, with funds acquired through major grants from DOLA and the Colorado Historic Fund; Gates Foundation, Town of Moffat, Saguache County Commissioners (Sales Tax and Conservation Fund grants), numerous individual donations and the tireless effort of the “One Cookie at a Time” Committee who hosted hundreds of bake sales and championed the restoration project throughout the years.  There’s a wall inside the Community Center with several plaques noting the major donors and many smaller plaques arranged in the shape of a tree naming individual and business donors.

The future of the Moffat Town Hall & Community Center is very bright. The building is available for rent and is already being used by the public.  Weddings, AA meetings, yoga classes, charity events, Town events and meetings, and Division of Water Resources are just some of the groups enjoying the beautiful new space.  To reserve the Moffat Community Building for your event, meeting or class, call Sarah at 719-256-4538 or email:  townofmoffat@gmail.com

Some said it wouldn’t be done, including me, and we’re happily proven wrong.

Designated in 2008 under the National Register of Historic Places, the building was restored without interfering with its historical properties, appearance, or material.