Questa youth center gets $62K update


The Questa Youth Center is getting an interior facelift twenty years after the community gathering place was built.

The youth center, located near the Questa Public Library in the village’s municipal park, is owned by the village and has become a hub for lots of events and happenings in Questa beyond strictly youth-oriented activities, such as a knitting club, a senior exercise class and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

The youth center was built in 1996 at a cost of just less than $250,000, according to Taos News archives. In the decades following its construction, many of the interior fixtures and finishes, like the flooring and ceiling tiles, had reached the end of their useful life, according to David Henry, an architect with Henry Architects of Arroyo Seco.

“The building has not received any significant maintenance since it opened. A renovation plan was urgently needed,” Henry said.

The 3,000-square-foot center had been vacant for about six months by the time Henry and his team took over the space for renovations earlier this year.

The village’s original vision of an 1,800-square-foot extension to the multipurpose room proved too costly for the $90,000 state grant that funded the project. The renovations were pared down to a simple interior facelift.

“[We] had to be very creative with how to spend the limited amount of project funds that were received by the village,” Henry said.

“It is not unheard of for a renovation of a similar structure to cost [about] $100 per square foot. This project will be completed for a cost of $20 per square foot [because of] targeted efforts of the village staff, mayor and council in collaboration with Henry Architects,” he said.

The total construction cost for the interior renovations and the new entrance portal is $62,250, according to Henry. 

Taos Sunrise Builders won the contract for the renovations. Generosity, collaboration and Sunrise Builders’ plumbing subsidiary helped drive down the costs of construction, said Phillip Gentry, owner of the company.

“It’s great to supply something to benefit the community,” Gentry said of his company’s first commercial project in Questa.

Gentry estimated 70 percent of renovations are completed as of Tuesday (May 16). Construction is set to be completed by the middle of June.

Village staff is unsure exactly when the youth center will reopen for activities once contractors have vacated the space.