Renovated parks and recreation office open house Wednesday |

Renovated parks and recreation office open house Wednesday

Brandon Gee

The city’s newly renovated Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services building sports attractive architecture, green building features and 7,000 square feet of new space for personnel and equipment.

Susan Petersen, however, is most excited about the smell.

Petersen, recreation supervisor for the city, was temporarily stationed at the Howelsen Ice Arena and won’t miss the aroma wafting from the locker rooms. Director Chris Wilson said it will be nice to get employees scattered across the city back under one roof at the Howelsen Parkway campus.

“We’re real happy with it, and everybody that’s seen it has been pleasantly pleased,” Wilson said about the remodel. “We’re going to come in on time and under budget.”

The renovation expanded the building on Howelsen Parkway that houses offices and maintenance facilities from just less than 10,000 square feet to just less than 17,000 square feet. The $3.6 million project is funded partially by a $500,000 state Energy Impact Grant and is intended to address issues such as insufficient workspace, lack of storage and a need to prepare for growth during the next decade. Anne Small, the city’s purchasing/contracts and risk manager, said the facility is $124,000 under budget, and she hopes it will finish more than $150,000 under budget.

“You never know until it’s done,” said Small, who said the project is awaiting some outdoor finishing touches that can’t be completed until the snow melts. “This project’s been an extremely successful project.”

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An open house of the facility will be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday as part of a regularly scheduled Parks and Recreation Commission meeting. After the open house and a reception for new City Manager Jon Roberts, the commission meeting will include a presentation by the Teen Council and a discussion about concerns and solutions related to private tubing on the Yampa River.

Additional office and equipment storage space, amenities such as locker space for employees, a new mechanical system and repairs to the roof are included in the renovation project. Wilson said the city chose not to seek a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification because of the cost associated with designation but did incorporate LEED features into the architecture and construction.

Future capital projects have been significantly cut back because of the city’s budget situation. The fate of projects slated for this year will be determined at an April 21 City Council meeting.

One project Small is confident will move forward this year, however, is a $1.5 million expansion of the city’s public works shop on Critter Court. That project also is aided by a $500,000 Energy Impact Grant. The Steamboat Springs Planning Commission will consider development plans for the proposed 3,600-square-foot expansion Thursday.

“This one was at the top of the list,” Small said about the expansion, which also will allow for the consolidation of equipment and personnel. “You follow through on your grant-funded projects.”

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