Teen proposal awaits approval | SteamboatToday.com

Teen proposal awaits approval

City Council asked to decide on project's planning

City Council will decide tonight whether to move forward with planning for a new youth and teen center addition to the entrance of Howelsen Ice Arena.

City Council will be asked tonight to decide whether to spend $87,500 to take a youth and teen center project at the skating arena through the planning process or to put the project on ice indefinitely.

The tentative plan is to add on to the lobby of the Howelsen Ice Arena to provide room for youth and teen activities.

“Really, what we’re asking council for is to let us enter into the development permit process so we can seek approval for the concept,” said Chris Wilson, director of the Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department.

Should City Council decide to endorse moving forward with planning for the remodel of the ice arena lobby, it would not be the same as making a decision to build it. Instead, city staff is asking the council whether it wants to flesh out the details of how the project would work and produce preliminary construction drawings. They would help to refine a construction budget. Very preliminary estimates of the project cost have been placed at $4.5 million.

“It’s about getting us a plan that would allow us to be ready to move when and if finances become available, and finding out whether this is still council’s top priority,” Wilson said.

Alternatively, City Council will be asked whether it would prefer not to move forward with pursuing a development plan at this time or give staff ideas about some preferred options for meeting the short-, mid- and long-range needs of the community’s youths and teens. The arena lobby addition is not listed among the city’s goals in the five-year capital improvements document.

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The plan to add onto the arena lobby, however, is the result of a 2007 City Council retreat in which youth and teen facilities were identified as a high priority, Wilson said in a memo contained in tonight’s council agenda packet. His staff was directed to move forward with conceptual design, and workshops were held with a professional firm, the Teen Council, Ice Rink Advisory Committee and the Parks and Recreation Commission. All three community groups have endorsed the concept, Wilson said.

– To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

Carol Fox to be honored

Former longtime Steamboat Springs Planning Commissioner and Councilwoman Carol Fox will be honored with the city’s Distinguished Service Award during a reception at 4 p.m. today in Centennial Hall that precedes the regular City Council agenda.

Fox served eight years on the Planning Commission in addition to three terms on the Board of Adjustment in the early 1990s. She was appointed to fill out a City Council term in 1993 and subsequently won re-election, serving until 1997.

Not one to bow out of public service, she quickly joined the board of the Yampa River Botanic Park.