The Las Vegas Community Foundation has awarded Friends of the Montezuma Hot Springs a $4,000 grant to restore the bath house.
Plans call for replacing the roof and installing windows. This will be the first step in refurbishing the bath house, which has not been used for more than 30 years, according to Martin Leger, president and founding member of FMHS.
The bath house will initially serve as a visitors’ center to exhibit the historical past of the hot springs and to sell hot springs merchandise.
“Eventually we would like to have water flowing through there again,” Leger said.
The UWC-USA Board of Trustees earlier this year agreed to lease the hot baths to the non-profit to manage. The goal is to reduce the legal exposure of the school, while empowering community members to take greater responsibility for site management.
As part of its ongoing campus master plan, UWC-USA more than a year ago hosted meetings to better understand how the community views the hot springs and to help residents understand the position of the school as its owner.
There have been issues with inappropriate behavior, cleanliness of the hot springs, and prohibited use of alcohol and drugs. Two deaths occurred there within the past two years; one was from a heart attack, and the other from head injuries after a fall.
The hot springs have long been known for their healing capabilities. UWC has owned the baths since industrialist and philanthropist Armand Hammer purchased the property and the Montezuma Castle for UWC-USA, which opened in 1982.