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ENERGY STAR Labeled Building Profile

Elks Civic Building
107 South Cascade
Montrose, CO 81401
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Background and History


The Elks Civic Building is an historic, two-story building located in downtown Montrose, Colorado.  The building houses the municipal court staff and courtroom and the city's community development offices. 


From its beginnings, the Elks Building was meant to serve a prominent role in the city.  It was designed by local architect J.H. Antrobus and built by local contractors White & Okey in 1927.  In its early years, the Elks Lodge was a favorite gathering place for many Montrose citizens, with bowling lanes in the basement and an elegant upstairs ballroom for dances.


In 1969, the Elks constructed a new lodge outside downtown, vacated the original building, and leased it to Colorado Western College, who closed its doors due to insufficient funds after 3 years.  It then became a courthouse annex that housed Social Services and a senior citizen meal site. Following that, the structure sat vacant for several years and fell into serious disrepair.


In 2003, the building was earmarked as a potential component of downtown revitalization.  The City of Montrose purchased the worn down, but still stately, building for $400,000 to implement the first segment of the Montrose Downtown Development Plan and expand the "civic campus" consisting of City of Montrose, Montrose County, U.S. Postal Service, and Mesa State College offices and facilities.  Renovation of the building would ensure adequate space for City offices, secure the City's continued presence in downtown, and stabilize the city center.


With the help of project architects Andrews & Anderson Architects, PC, of Golden, Colorado, and numerous funders, including National Park Service Save America's Treasures, the State of Colorado Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance program, and the Colorado Historical Society, State Historical Fund, the City of Montrose transformed the dilapidated structure into a community gem. 


Renamed the "Elks Civic Building," the building now houses the municipal court staff and courtroom and the city's community development offices, meeting space, and a state-of-the-art City Council Chambers.


Building Renovation 


The City approached the rehabilitation of the Elks Lodge with a sustainable outlook. Original character-defining features of the 1927 building were restored, such as the open floor plan of the second-floor historic ballroom (now the Municipal Court and City Council Chambers), the ballroom's original wood floor, and the original front stair and open front porch. "Behind the scenes" infrastructure upgrades such as a geothermal heating and cooling system and historic window rehabilitation helped to create a state-of-the-art municipal services center. 


The City of Montrose, in conjunction with the project architects, researched the feasibility of the geo-thermal system and determined it a beneficial approach to aid in the heating and cooling of the building, based on an expected payback period of 8 years for upfront expenses, as a result of anticipated energy savings.  Twenty-four, 300' deep holes were drilled in the parking lot to use the constant temperature of the earth, which in turn served to reduce energy costs required to heat and cool the building. 


The project's unique blend of historic preservation and energy efficiency objectives was featured as the cover story in a 2008 issue of Geo Outlook, a journal published by Oklahoma State University and the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association.


By adding an interior energy panel system to the restored historic windows, their character was maintained, while reducing energy loads by decreasing energy loss through air infiltration.  Original doors, light fixtures, and stall partitions were all restored to their former glory--eliminating the need to purchase new building components. The building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


The building utilizes energy recovery ventilators (ERV) to warm outside air to close-to-room temperature in the winter months with heat that would otherwise be lost with the exhaust air. During cooling season, the ERV provides necessary fresh air while pre-cooling and pre-dehumidifying this air with energy that would otherwise be lost with the exhaust air.


A building control system was employed to enable facilities staff to have full control over the heating and cooling for the building.  A calendar is maintained in this system to set back temperatures when individual zones are unoccupied.


Restrooms and other common areas are equipped with occupancy sensors that automatically turn off lights when the space is unoccupied.


The City of Montrose has contracted with an energy engineering firm to make further upgrades to the building controls that will implement a demand-based ventilation strategy and further optimize the building control systems.  In addition, water conservation measures will be implemented, such as retro-commissioning toilet and urinal valves and installation of low flow aerators on faucets.




"The City of Montrose is proud to have reached this milestone in our efforts to make our operations more energy- and cost-efficient.  We have an aggressive program for improving energy efficiency for all city facilities and expect to achieve ENERGY STAR status for other buildings.  Our efforts represent the city's interest in wise management of taxpayer resources, while also conserving our environmental and energy resources."

-- Virgil Turner, Administrative Services Director, City of Montrose

Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by City of Montrose or a representative of this facility. Other building information was verified and submitted to EPA at the time of application. Building energy performance, operating characteristics, and ownership/management may be subject to change over time.

Building Owner:*
City of Montrose

Property Manager:*
City of Montrose

Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
2010 (81)

Facility Type: Courthouse

Total Floorspace: 13103 sf

Year Constructed: 1927

Contract Type: Internal Resources
Financing Type: Internal Capital

Technologies Used:
   Stage 1-Recommissioning
   Stage 2-Lighting
   Stage 3-Load Reductions
   Stage 4-Fan Systems