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Historic iron comes down for arts centerTell North Platte what you think
 
Courtesy Photo­Image
Section of fire escape
Courtesy Photo­Image
Where it used to be

The fire escape was removed Friday from the back side of the three-story 1913 Post Office, a sign that changes are coming to the historic building.

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The building will be converted to an arts center under a plan that began five years ago. The next step is to build a new elevator, and work could begin on that within 30 days, said Gene Gilsdorf, one of the volunteers on the project.

Volunteers spent summer weekends cleaning the basement, where they tore out temporary walls and electric lines that were built in the 1960s and 70s, when the building was home to North Platte Junior College, the forerunner of North Platte Community College.

The old junior college student lounge was located in the basement.

The next big step is to make the building handicapped accessible, Gilsdorf said. Plans are also underway to install handicapped accessible bathrooms and build a new stairwell.

Stephen Granger of CG Architects is coordinating the project.

The arts council hopes to make more improvements to the first floor and basement late this year and early next year, building a new entrance, a sculpture center in the basement, main art gallery and classrooms on the upper floors.


Board members

The Creativity Unlimited Arts Council, which is in charge of the new arts center, recently elected board members Ron Meyer, Shannon Orr and Lynda Perry were elected for a three-year term. Terri Burchell was elected to a two-year term.

Current board members Weldon Umphress and Wava Best were re-elected to a two-year term.

Next year, 2013, will be the 100th anniversary of the building.

More information about the Prairie Arts Center is HERE.


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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 10/6/2012
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