TBK Bank Donates Building to Granada School District No. RE-1

Future Site of Amache Museum


TBK Bank, SSB, donated its building, located at 205 E. Goff Avenue, to the Granada School District No. RE-1 in a key handing ceremony this past Thursday morning, December 12th. The building will be converted to the new location for the Amache Museum, which is dedicated to conserving the Amache site and its World War Two history as the Granada War Relocation Center.

Loads More Space Than Before

Estimated at approximately $140,000 the donation of the bank’s 4,800 square foot building will allow the Amache Preservation Society (IAPS) to relocate and expand the current Amache Museum located across Highway 50 from the new site. The building will provide additional space for educational exhibitions and presentations as well as a dedicated research space to be used by Denver University and Colorado College research teams while studying the former World War ll internment camp.

Former Museum

“TBK Bank is committed to serving the people, business and community of Granada,” said Lesli Baca, Vice President, Regional Operations Manager for TBK Bank. “The Granada School District and the Amache Preservation Society play an important role in preserving the history of our community and we are honored to be a part of that with this donation.”

Granada Students Receiving Keys to the New Museum

“The Granada School District is honored and humbled to receive this building from TBK Bank,” said Ty Kemp, Superintendent of the Granada School District. “This building will be used to expand our Amache Museum and to provide research space for our high school students and for people from all over America that visit the museum. We truly appreciate the community minded spirit in which this building was donated the TBK supporting the educational efforts and growth of our students and school. This donation will touch the lives of students and visitors for many years to come.”

Granada High School Students

“The Japanese American Communities across the United States will be thrilled with this new museum,” said John Hopper, founder of the Amache Preservation Society and Dean of Students for the Granada School District.

The building, which previously served as an operations center for TBK Bank, is also the site of the bank’s drive through ATM. The ATM will remain in place and continue to operate.


Hopper listed how the new museum will open more of the history of the Internment Camp for the general public, “Right now, less than half of the museum’s items are on display, there was just no space. We plan to show some artwork as well as receive some items which have been on loan to the Colorado History Museum in Denver and the Japanese-American Museum in Los Angeles which has had some material for several years.”

Camp Amache Main Entrance

Hopper has been responsible for a lot of grant funding and donations needed to make the museum a reality and he expected that to continue, “A lot of donations for the museum come from former Japanese-American residents of Camp Amache and the news interest of the TBK Bank donation should add to that and stimulate that cause.”

He said he’s looking forward to the annual pilgrimage to Camp Amache held each year by relatives of the former residents, hosted in Granada. Close to 100 or more persons visit the site each spring and the 2020 event will be held May 16th. Hopper said that will really signify the grand opening of the new museum even though materials will be transported from the old site to the new one after Christmas and viewing will be available during the weeks and months of the changeover.

The building has seen a lot of use over the years, from a theater, lumber company, grocery store, bank and now a museum. The work for recognition by the National Park Service is continuing and Hopper and Ian DeBono of Granada said they’ve been in contact with representatives from Governor Polis and the National Park Service in recent phone conversations.

Hopper added the old museum will maintain its status, but now it may be used as a showcase for the history of the Granada community instead of one segment such as Camp Amache.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of GranadaConsumer IssuesCountyEducationEventsFeaturedHistoryHot TopicsMedia ReleaseSchoolThe Journal AlertTourismYouth


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