Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post
(COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.) — Matthew Haynes has 20 years of memories at Club Q, the site of the Nov. 19 shooting that left five people dead and dozens more injured in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
As the co-owner of the LGBTQ bar, Haynes says in the aftermath of the shooting, he has been contemplating the bar’s significance in the community and its role in helping the community continue to recover from the tragic event — and rebuilding the bar is part of that goal.
Club Q was a place where people met their significant others, where they made new friends, where they’ve “grown up,” Haynes said.
“The biggest takeaway that this community has had, that I concur with, is that [the shooter] will not win,” Haynes told ABC News. “This man will not take away our space. This man will not destroy this community.”
The suspect is facing 305 charges, including first-degree murder, attempted murder and bias-motivated crimes.
Haynes, alongside the bar’s advisory and development team, said they will restructure the inside of the bar, implement new security precautions, and build a memorial to honor the lives lost, as well as the lives affected.
It’s unclear what a memorial would look like, or how long a rebuild will take, Haynes said. He said he is hoping for a four-monthlong remodeling process, with hopes of a May reopening — but the path forward remains uncertain.
In recent meetings with city officials, including Colorado Springs mayor John Suthers, Haynes said Suthers has put Club Q staff in touch with an architecture firm to plan a memorial and address the damage done to the inside of the bar during the shooting, pro bono.
According to Haynes, the city has also assigned a supervisor to work through the technical processes needed to get the business back up and running.
“Colorado Springs is a welcoming and vibrant community. We are supportive of the efforts underway to redesign and rebuild Club Q and believe this will be an important step to heal and to honor the lives lost in November’s tragic shooting,” Suthers said in a statement to ABC News.
“From every aspect, from the police department to the FBI, to anything that’s underneath the city and certainly from the state — a this point, we are feeling fully supported,” Haynes said.
Haynes said he doesn’t want to just fix the damage done — he wants to make aesthetic changes to the bar, so it can be a welcoming and freeing environment for those who were present in the bar on that tragic night.
“In talking to the victims that were actually shot, they [want] to have it changed up a little bit … would help with some of the trauma,” Haynes said.
Since the tragedy, the bar owners and staff have also been tending to an ever-growing memorial outside of Club Q, lush with flowers, cards and artwork.
They’ve preserved many of the gifts left at Club Q’s doors, and Haynes said they hope to create a permanent memorial at the location to honor not just those who died or were injured, but also the “thousands that have been impacted.”
“The plan is to make it serene, to make it peaceful, to make it full of the life that they were living when this happened to them,” Haynes said.
He thanked supporters nationwide for the support the community has received in the aftermath of the tragedy.
“We take our responsibility very seriously and we’re all very passionate about it,” Haynes said. “We certainly would like to thank everybody for the support and the love and the thousands of cards we have received, the letters we have received, donations directly to the rebuilding, donations in the millions of dollars to all of the victims. There’s just been such an outpouring of kindness and so so we’re very humbled to be in this position.”
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