History of the Colfax Municipal Building Restoration Group

In 1998, then Village President, Gail Svee, asked a local citizen, Joan Scharlau, to form a restoration group for the Colfax Municipal Building. Mrs. Svee had received numerous phone calls from people in the community who were concerned about the condition of this beautiful old building. The old theater was not in use and became basically a place for storage, the basement, which at one time was the Senior Citizens Center, had flooded and never been restored, and the windows were boarded up giving the building a very dilapidated appearance.

The first meeting of the restoration group was held on October 10, 1998. At subsequent meetings, officers were elected, a Board of Directors appointed, and a Constitution developed. A campaign for funds was held in 2001 to help with expenses. Approximately, $26,000 was raised during that campaign.

In 2002, at the request of the Colfax Municipal Building Restoration Group, the Colfax Municipal Building was placed on the State’s 10 most endangered historic properties list by the Wisconsin Trust for Historic Preservation. The Group applied to have the building designated as a historic property by being placed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places. This occurred in January 2004.

The Colfax Municipal Building Restoration Group has non-profit status under the 501© (3) IRS code.

The Group has paid for the restoration of the main hallway of the building, replacement of the front steps, replacement of windows and numerous other projects. The most expensive project paid for by the Group was the replacement of the entire electrical system in the building. The cost of this project has pretty well depleted are funds. A grant received by the Village paid for the replacement of most of the windows in the building which has brightened up the theater area immensely. The Group recently had the theater ceiling repaired and the walls and ceiling painted. The stage curtains were cleaned and restrung. The Group also has had the old paneling removed in the ticket room, repairing the plaster and painting that room as well as refinishing the floor. The old ticket room is now used as our Colfax History Room. We are very proud of the difference these projects have made in the appearance of the Cozy Theater area.

Our most anticipated challenge is to raise money for an elevator. We will soon be starting to work toward that accomplishment. We do have some “seed” money for the elevator, thanks to a bequest (designated for the elevator) left the Group by a couple very interested in seeing the restoration of this old building completed.

We feel we are finally seeing progress with this project. When the ceiling and hallways are restored that will be another step in the right direction. The floors will be the next project.

Contact Us

PO Box 238
Colfax Wi
54730