- Associated Press - Saturday, June 25, 2016

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) - Students and businesses are stepping in to give the historic Highlandlake church just outside of Mead the fresh coat of paint it needs. a fresh coat of paint and

Preservationists recruited Mead High School football players to help get the job done this summer and make the short trek to unincorporated Weld County where the town of Highlandlake used to sit, the Daily Camera reported (https://bit.ly/28QJ7Wx).

The community, which lost its official town designation when the U.S. Post Office there closed in 1913, has rallied around the historic church in recent years.

The church has no congregation but hosts weddings and other events as the last remaining public building from the town’s heyday, said Pauli Driver-Smith, executive director of Historic Highlandlake, a nonprofit preservation group.

Driver-Smith, who moved to Highlandlake from Longmont in 1987, estimated that some 40 people live in the area today. She said it used to be a popular summer getaway for residents of Denver and Longmont.

“You move to Highlandlake and within days you fall in love with this church building,” Driver-Smith said. “There’s just something about it I can’t really explain. There’s a feeling of peace. If we lose this building in Highlandlake, we lose our identity as a community. We’re just going to be a wide spot in the road.”

The historic preservation group did a full restoration of the church from 2005 to 2007, but, like any structure, it needs regular maintenance.

A number of local businesses are donating goods and services to help bring down the cost of painting the building and two outhouses, including Romeo’s Quality Painting and Benjamin Moore. The total cost to the nonprofit will be about $4,500, Driver-Smith said.

Volunteers will paint the church with four colors from the original 1896 palette - gold, two shades of green and blue.

Jason Klatt, football coach at Mead High School, said 75 student-athletes will help out with the painting, as well as some landscaping.

Since coming to Mead four years ago, he’s tried to create a culture of service among the football players. Initially, they were a little skeptical about the relationship between volunteering and football, but now they’ve bought into the idea, Klatt said.

Volunteer days are often some of the students’ best memories of being on the team, he added.

“We believe that playing football at Mead is much more about life lessons than about the game of football,” he said. “And if we can help these guys 10 years down the road, 15 years down the road, then we feel like we’ve made an impact and have been a success in their lives.

“We really are intentional about teaching our kids character lessons that can help them with the game of life.”


Information from: Daily Camera, https://www.dailycamera.com/

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