Year in Review from The Prowers Journal- February 2023


Attorney General’s Office Expanding Housing Development Grant for Regional Colleges

Attorney General Phil Weiser announced his office is expanding its rural housing revitalization grant to support a new trades program at Pueblo Corporate College, a division of Pueblo Community College, and expanded programs at Trinidad State College and Lamar Community College.

Communities in southern Colorado have long faced challenges with blighted housing and shortages on available housing stock. This housing shortage is partially due to the age of houses and the lack of appropriately trained labor in the area to renovate the old and dilapidated homes.  To address this housing challenge, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office launched a $5 million grant program, the Colorado Partnership for Education and Rural Revitalization (COPERR), in 2020 to both revitalize rural housing and support construction training programs at community colleges in southeastern Colorado.

Lamar Community College (LCC) will receive additional grant funding to expand its programming to include high school students at two remote high school locations located in the northern and southern parts of LCC’s service area. LCC will use two mobile classroom trailers to work directly with high schools in each region, with the goal of either creating a pipeline for students into college or the ability to seek employment utilizing the knowledge they gain through COPERR courses. LCC anticipates completing six renovation projects with at least three renovations outside the city of Lamar, but within LCC’s service area. As of December 2022, the total grant amount for the college is $1.46 million.



Cobblestone Opening March 7th

The Cobblestone Hotel at 1215 North Main Street will be open for business on Tuesday, March 7th with a future date for a grand opening still pending, according to General Manager, Tony Gratta.

The 54 room, three-story hotel has been under construction since October, 2021 and will employ 22 mostly full-time employees, most of whom have been hired.  The original plans for the Cobblestone Hotel property, when completed, would offer a mix of King bed suites, double Queen bed suites, and eight 2-room extended stay suites.  All rooms will have a microwave, mini-frig., 40″-42″ flat screen TV, and have free WIFI throughout the hotel.  This hotel will feature a guest business center, a wine and beer lounge, a fireplace in the lobby, and an indoor pool.

Gratta explained that the hotel’s liquor license is still pending and a public hearing will be held by the Lamar City Council on March 13th.  There will not be a full-service menu in the bar, but some hot menu items will be available in compliance with the liquor license requirements.
By Russ Baldwin



SOS & PATS Center,

Lamar City Council Updates Senior Center Hours and Procedures

The operation of the Lamar Senior Center was recently undertaken by the City of Lamar.  The council, during its February 13th meeting, approved Resolution 23-02-01 which set the hours, days of operation and rental charges for the Lamar Community Resource and Senior Center.  The center will operate Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm and on Saturdays with prior scheduling approval.  Senior groups, whose participants are members of the Senior Center, may use the facility at no charge during regular hours.  Other groups will be subject to a fee contingent on the area intended for use and duration of either a half or full day.  There haven’t been many noticeable alterations in the daily activities of the center since the transfer from the County.
By Russ Baldwin



New Gym Floor Installation at LCB

New Flooring for LCB Gym/Highway 287 Project Receives Funding

There will be a new gym floor for the Lamar Community Building.  The replacement costs were budgeted into Lamar’s finances for 2023 and one bid was received from All City Flooring who said it would honor its 2022 estimate.  The company will be able to start work in May.  The Denver based firm submitted a bid of $162,926.

Castle Rock Construction Company of Centennial, Colorado submitted the lower of two bids received by the city for the Revitalizing Main Streets Program – East Side Main Street Sidewalks at $125,238 with an estimated date of completion near the end of October.  Castle Rock is also the prime contractor for the ongoing 287 CDOT project.  That work consists of sidewalk, curb and gutter, paving, storm drainage installation, new lighting and wiring, removals and grading and according to Castle Rock, is almost 50% complete.
By Russ Baldwin



Beverly Augustine with Award


Honoring Beverly

Longtime business Lamar business owner Beverly Augustine passed away on February 9, 2022.  Her daughter, Julie Vice, working with Judy Turpin, recently paid tribute to her by decorating the storefront window at 212 South Main Street with various pictures of some of Beverly’s life and times.  One photo features the storefront as it appeared in 1948, the first year of operation.  Others highlight the two men’s groups that volunteered for the memorable Men’s Nights during the holidays.

Julie said, “It will be a year on February 9th since my mother passed away and Judy and friends thought it would be a tribute to honor my mother with some past photos of her life and times at The Lassie.”  Vice said she’s not quite ready to, “let go of my mother or her store at this point,” and all I’m happy to do now is just honor her memory.  People are welcome to view the storefront window and reminisce.
By Russ Baldwin



Dr. Linda Lujan, LCC President

LCC President Dr. Linda Lujan Retires

After an illustrious 40-year community college career, including 13-and-a-half years as a college president, Lamar Community College (LCC) President Dr. Linda Lujan is retiring in February 2023.

While the transition is bittersweet for Lujan, she feels confident passing the baton now because she believes LCC is “poised for growth.”

In 2016, Lujan began her career at LCC at a time when the LCC Foundation (LCCF) had recently raised funds to construct a new dorm pod to ease the student housing crunch. She immediately took the mission of increasing student housing access and facilitating technology enhancements and campus beautification projects to heart. While she has accomplished much at LCC during her time as president, Lujan’s proudest legacies are the numerous facilities improvements, technology advancements, and building projects that occurred on her watch.

Filed Under: Featured


About the Author: