By Sarah Pridgeon
The long-running project to restore one of Sundance’s best-known historic buildings may soon receive a shot in the arm thanks to a joint endeavor with the city. The Sundance City Council and Crook County Museum District are considering the idea of applying together for a $3 million grant through the Wyoming Business Council.
“The museum district cannot apply through the Wyoming Business Council for a grant. It has to come through an entity, so they were hoping to partner with the city,” explains Clerk Treasurer Kathy Lenz.
The Business Ready Community Readiness grant would work in a similar manner to the recently completed Croell Headquarters project. While the city would be involved in an administrative manner, the financial side of things would be the district’s responsibility.
“I would write the grant and we would manage it for them, but it wouldn’t come out of our budget. The district would still own it,” nods Lenz.
Should both sides agree to move forward, the grant is expected to fund a significant portion of the work still needed to restore the old building and at least partially open Old Stoney to the public.
“It’s at least to get a couple of floors open. There still might be part of it that that grant won’t cover but we won’t know until the architects get done exactly what it’s going to take to finish it,” Lenz says.
An architectural firm will be performing an investigation of Old Stoney and what work is still required to transform it into a cultural center. The first step, however, is for both sides to agree to cooperate on the grant.
To that end, the museum district will be hosting a public meeting on October 27 at 5 p.m. at the 1875 Gallery to consider whether to move forward with the application.
“If their board decides that they want to move forward with it, then we’ll bring it to the council and ask them if they would consider it,” says Lenz.
This second step will take place on November 1 at a public hearing during the regular council meeting. If both sides agree, the architects will prepare a cost estimate for completion of the building.
“We have to have that to be able to put in for this application,” she says.
November 15 is the deadline for the grant application to be in the hands of Dave Spencer, Regional Director and December 1 is the overall deadline for the grant. For this reason, the project will involve considerable speed to ensure that all the information necessary is available by the cut-off date.
“We’re on a fast track – it’s all hands on deck, we’re all doing our parts to write this grant,” Lenz nods.
If the grant is approved by the Wyoming Business Council in March, it will then move on to the State Lands and Investments board for funding approval in April.