Club Q, the Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub where five people were killed and dozens injured in a mass shooting last November, has announced plans to reopen in the fall of 2023.
Prior to its reopening, the club will build a permanent memorial on its site, honoring the five victims of the shooting — Daniel Aston, Raymond Green Vance, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh, and Derrick Rump — and install enhanced security measures, such as new screening technology and a “hardened space.”
In architecture parlance, a “hardened space” could potentially include armed checkpoints, safe rooms, or structures and features, such as additional doors or automatic locks, that would make it harder for a person to gain entry to the club.
More information on what those enhanced security measures will entail will be released in the coming weeks, in the hope that other LGBTQ venues may follow Club Q’s lead by also installing such measures.
To carry out and install the additional security features, as well as design the memorial, Club Q has partnered with HB&A, a Colorado Springs-based, women-owned architecture and planning firm.
The club’s owners hope to gut the club’s interior in April 2023, later rebuilding it in time to open for the fall.
The club’s management team has also hired two survivors of the shooting as staff and plan to add at least one new staff role in the next month.
Those new hires will serve as administrators, helping management with rebuilding efforts, community relations, and other projects needed to ensure the club can reopen on schedule.
In November, Club Q management supported the Colorado Healing Fund and the Compassion Fund as two ways to raise funds to support victims — defined as those injured in the shooting, patrons who were inside the club at the time of the shooting, or relatives of those killed — and help them recover from the loss or trauma they’ve suffered.
But the club is also taking action to help alleviate the financial hardship of former staff, contractors, and entertainers who have been unable to work at the club since it closed following the shooting. Club management has created an official GoFundMe page to help those employees and contractors avoid financial hardship, and to raise funds for the permanent memorial that will be on site.
As of this writing, the GoFundMe has so far raised $55,399 of a $200,000 goal.
“We are very pleased to announce that we are able to fulfill our first objective: distributing lost wages from our GoFundMe and other officially sanctioned fundraisers to former Club Q employees and third-party entertainer contractors,” the club said in a news release.
“We have crafted an equitable formula that is being used to fairly determine how much each individual will be receiving: The formula is based on an individual’s historic average of net monthly earnings and is designed to help ensure there has not been a reduction of income during the last three months due to Club Q’s abrupt closure.
“Further, we will take the historic average of net monthly earnings and distribute up to three months wages in a single lump-sum payout.”
The funds will begin to be dispersed on Friday, Feb. 17.
“It was 20 years ago that I fought through a very different time in our country to ensure our community would have a safe space to gather and commune,” Matthew Haynes, the founding owner of Club Q, said in a statement. “It has been two decades now that we have kept the doors open as a place where everyone, regardless of gender identity or who they love, had somewhere to belong. To everyone who has asked me to reopen the club, I assure you we are working very hard to bring our home back. We look forward to being able to gather as one community again.”
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