HOPE Center Closing for Summer Renovations

Lincoln School-HOPE Center


Lori Hammer, Executive Director of the HOPE Center at Lincoln School on North 10th Street in Lamar, told Coalition members this past Monday, the Center will be “closed up tight” through the summer to allow needed renovations to take place.  Danny Tinnes, RE-2 School Board member, also attended the meeting.

“We’re not exactly sure when the work will begin, perhaps sometime in April or May, but there’s a lot of work that will be accomplished through the summer and hopefully not much beyond that.” Hammer was referring to renovations that will be funded by a BEST grant and matching funds approved by voters during the November General Election.  Both the Lincoln School and Lamar High School will have improvements including new windows which will improve insulation for heat and cold, new HVAC systems to improve air quality and temperature control, electrical work and fire response systems are a few of the areas on the master construction list.  The Lincoln School, which has been headquarters for the HOPE Center for several years, was constructed in 1948.

One Step Up students continue to work on a comprehensive food nutrition project that used focus groups planning to determine their findings this spring. No specific date was set.  A date for a fund-raising barbecue is still up in the air.  Hammer said she’ll contact the Lamar Chamber of Commerce for an update on their calendar list of events to make sure there won’t be a conflict with other groups.  Dates available have ranged from March 28th to early April.  The Coalition wants to make sure there’s time to gather and list auction items for the evening event.  Volunteers from Atmos Energy have said they’ll be happy to prepare the barbecue for the public.

Coalition President, Byron Hall, said the youth bike riding program is ready to begin this Tuesday, March 19th with a short, introductory ride.  “We’ll probably go only about 5 or 6 miles and we may use the new Lamar Loop as our route,” he explained.  Middle and high school students will be able to check out bikes on loan or bring their own to use for future Tuesday rides.  Hall said he wants to get a team of student riders ready to go by this September for the next Pedal the Plains event which will travel through parts of southeast Colorado using Lamar, Holly and Springfield as host cities.  Adults will be welcome for the trips, but not in any official capacity with the group and younger students will need to provide a parental permission slip to take part.

Some future summer-season field trip destinations were discussed, but no one area was highlighted. Each summer dozens of HOPE students are able to sign up for several planned day trips around the state. The most recent donations to the HOPE Center were announced including $200 from LCM Missions, $100 from Prowers Medical Center, $400 from the Lamar High Class of 1948 and $100 from Southeast Colorado Power.  The next HOPE Coalition meeting is set for April 15th at Lincoln School.

By Russ

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