C. Falls Group Unveils Plans for Discovery Center

By Beacon Staff

The First Best Place Task Force is holding an open house this Saturday at the former Glacier Bank building in uptown Columbia Falls to showcase plans for the Glacier Discovery Center.

The task force, a Columbia Falls grass-roots volunteer organization that formed in 2006 to focus on community revitalization projects, purchased the former bank building on Nucleus Avenue last month. The group intends to develop a community center and park on the site, and, as a key part of the center, a Columbia Falls library would move out of its current home in City Hall and occupy most of the building’s main floor.

The center will emphasize local history and artifacts, the city’s role as a gateway to Glacier National Park, outdoor education programs and nearby recreation opportunities. Organizers hope the center will drawn tourists into uptown and act as a community gathering place, helping to revitalize the historic district.

The building is located in the city’s central square, a long-time default core of activity in the town. The task force hopes the community center will act as “a return to the roots of the town site, and the inauguration of a new life as a gathering place for the community.”

The open house will run from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., just before and after the Heritage Days Parade, on Saturday, July 26. Task force members will be on hand to explain aspects of the project, highlight the architectural plans for the remodel and answer questions.