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Route 66 News

Route 66 museum, convention center proposed in downtown Grants

Cibola County Courthouse, Grants, NM

A committee that is seeking new ways to use the Cibola County Building and Grounds site once its is vacated is proposing a convention center and Route 66 museum, according to the Cibola County Beacon.

The county’s administrative, district court and attorney offices, adult probation and parole and regional dispatch office will move from 515 W. High St. in downtown Grants to Roosevelt Avenue on the north side of town within the next two years.

One building on the old site will be razed because of structural issues and mold, but the oldest parts — originally Grants Union High School — will remain a part of the proposed convention center and museum. According to a Cibola County historian, Grants Union High School was built about 1930, and the building remains one of the most-photographed in town.

Grants city council Michael Lewis, a member of the county building reuse committee, revealed part of the proposal:

Lewis said plans are for the museum to include murals, artifacts, a three dimensional display, and a children’s activity area. “From ancient history to Route 66 with lots of color and lots of lights,” said Lewis. “It will also include a Route 66 Gift Shop to offset operation costs. The Historical Society has agreed to operate the shop,” he added.
The museum’s theme would include a timeline: ancient history, Spanish influence, railroad, mining to Route 66.

Cibola County will break ground on its new facility next month. Construction is expected to take 18 to 24 months. The museum would move into the old county building as soon as the county offices move out. That puts a Route 66 museum in place by fall 2017.

The current county building site sits about a block north of Santa Fe Avenue, aka Route 66.

(Image of the Cibola County Building and Grounds by Jimmy Emerson, DVM, via Flickr)

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