Construction work fast and furious

Schools, other projects, appear to be on schedule

Doug Crowl

— The new agricultural building is in place at the Soroco High School, a foundation has been laid for the addition at the South Routt Elementary School and remodeling work is under way at the middle school.

Three other key construction projects in South Routt are scheduled for completion by the fall.

The new hotel in Yampa is up and crews are putting the finishing touches on the project in hopes to get it open by September.

“It’s pretty much right on schedule,” said Mike Hollibaugh, one of the general contractors for Premier Builders.

“We’re hoping to be on schedule for a Sept. 19 opening,” said Gene Eller, the other general contractor on the job.

Both Hollibaugh and Eller travel around the country building hotels.

“We are really enjoying the people here,” Eller said while sitting at the Royal Hotel in Yampa. “This is one of the nicest places we’ve ever worked.”

Union Pacific contracted Lodging Enterprise Inc. to build the 39-room hotel on Moffat Avenue. It’s called the Oak Tree Inn.

Included with the hotel is a 24-hour diner called Penny’s Diner. The diner is a ’50s-style restaurant that will be open 24 hours a day and is a chain establishment connected to the Oak Tree Inns. The restaurant usually is adorned with a stainless steel exterior but in Yampa it will be stucco to fit in with the surrounding buildings better.

The primary purpose of the hotel and restaurant is to house and feed railroad workers mainly engine crews from Denver and Grand Junction who stay at The Golden Spike in Phippsburg. But the diner and the hotel won’t be exclusive to railroad workers.

Phippsburg also has a new building going up. The P-burg Storage building is two weeks away from being finished and the work done on the building and ownership is all local, owner Pauline Breyare said.

Breyare, who lives in South Routt, said all the workers she hired to build the structure were from South Routt.

“Even the building inspector lives in P-burg,” she said.

The building is a two-story, barn like structure, 80 by 40, on the corner of Colorado 131 and Forest Street in Phippsburg, where the old Texaco building used to be.

It has 20 small storage units on the upper floor and 14 larger ones on the ground level. Breyare tore down the Texaco building at the first of the year and construction work on the storage building began in the spring.

“That spot is the lowest one of the lowest spots in P-burg,” Breyare said.

Four feet of fill was brought in to raise the building.

The siding and the roof of P-burg Storage were planned to be the same color as the old Texaco building, green and white. However, Breyare said locals said they like the gray that the building is painted now.

“We haven’t decided on that yet,” she said.

Five tenants have reserved space in the building.

The new First National Bank of the Rockies building in Oak Creek has a hole dug and construction crews placed the forms for the foundation on Friday.

“We’re coming along,” bank President Bill Lesson said. “We are pouring the foundation next week.”

The plans for the new First National Bank building show it to be a 1,560-square-foot modular structure.

It will be placed on the 18,000-square-foot lot just south of the Total Oak Creek Store on Colorado 131.

Lesson said the building will be delivered on Aug. 21 and then some finish work will be done.

“Hopefully by the end of September, we will be ready to roll,” he said.

However, Lesson added that it could be October before South Routt customers can visit the bank because moving the business from the Circle R building on Sharp Street could take a little more time than expected.

Included with the new building will be three drive-up lanes and parking spaces.

There also will be a full-time job added to the staff and possibly a part-time position, Lesson said.

To reach Doug Crowl call 871-4206

or e-mail

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