REPLACED: Old Leechpit space becoming chic student hangout

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The name of the building will be 802 — a clean and chic title that mirrors the building’s modern exterior.

When the newest CC construction project, located at 802 N. Nevada Ave. is finished, the final product will function as a home to student creativity.

CC art shows and events that formerly took place in the currently-closed Whitney Electric building will now be held in 802, according to Vice President of Finance Robert Moore.

“The vision is that it replaces the Whitney,” Moore said. “We are trying to create a space, though not huge, where senior art students can still do their projects [and] where small student groups can also [find] some space to gather.”

The expected date of completion is early to mid-November. The building will feature three external garage-door bays that can be opened, a food prep area, and restrooms.

The building at 802 has served several purposes over the years, from a gas station to a line of several record stores. CC has been leasing the building, which is on the outskirts of campus, for commercial use for over a decade.

The space will starkly differ in its appearance from its most immediate predecessor—the Leechpit. Owned and operated by Adam Leech, the Leechpit sold records, concert memorabilia, and various vintage collectibles.

The Leechpit closed this summer after a bitter dispute with the college over a lease agreement in which CC opted to not renew Leech’s paid use of the space.  A petition to save the Leechpit was organized by several students on campus. However, CC terminated the Leechpit’s lease in an effort to create more flexible student spaces on campus.

“I don’t want it to be the ‘former Leechpit’ because it’s not a ‘former.’ It’s a building in of itself,” Moore said.

And indeed it is.

Over  $100,000 have been spent on renovations for the building for aesthetic purposes and to bring it up to the city’s code.

“It’s not going to be polished-finished; it’s going to be safely finished, with polished glass where you can see inside because part of a college is to see students doing stuff,” said Moore.

A designer has been brought in to decorate the interior. At the moment, a passerby may be able to see some of the decorative stars painted on the ceiling in the interior.

As for the space’s intended use, possibilities abound: art shows, live music, performances, and gatherings.

“I’m really just trying to get it fixed to the point where it’s decent enough to make it better for ‘something,’” Moore said. “I don’t know think we know what that ‘something’ is yet.”

The space won’t be available for completely impromptu use, but it will function as a flexible area for students to reserve a spot for activities. The dean of students’ office will organize access to the building.

Jack Sweeney, Managing Editor

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Comments

  1. Gavin H. Rogers says:

    Too bad that in hearts of many (outside of a highly transient student population) it will always be the former Toons/Leechpit building. Way to increase the separation between the town and gown members of the community.

  2. Sevillana Watches says:

    Moore essentially said, “hmmmm…well, we don’t know exactly what we want, but we sure do know what we don’t want!”
    Anywhere else on the globe, Adam Leech is a standout indie artist: his fatal flaw? he was born and bred here. CC built an empire based on bringing IN the culture and the art to this quaint, backward town. The nerve of Colorado Springs, producing a world-class sculptor from public schools.

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