Judicial facility takes big step | SteamboatToday.com

Judicial facility takes big step

County officials will look at development plan

— Today, Routt County officials can take a major stride in their mission to build a new judicial facility in Steamboat Springs.

By the end of today, the Routt County Board of Commissioners could approve of the development plan for the proposal that includes a new courthouse and a multi-level parking structure.

“This is a big step to this whole process,” County Manager Tom Sullivan said.

Approval of the development plan, which would be submitted to the City of Steamboat Springs for review, will hinge on how the commissioners react to the parking structure.

The plans for the parking structure will be unveiled to commissioners during a 1:30 p.m. meeting in the commissioners’ hearing room on the second floor of the courthouse annex, 136 Sixth Street.

County commissioners reviewed the plans for the 52,000-square-foot judicial facility last week. The county will be seeking public funds for the judicial facility and the parking structure from residents in the November election.

Commissioners have endorsed the plans for the judicial facility, which would be built on the southwest corner of Sixth and Oak streets, but have not had a chance to review the parking structure.

With the help of the county’s Denver-based architect, HML Design, officials have reviewed five options for the parking garage, which would be built on the southeast corner of Fifth and Oak streets.

Of the five options, officials have given serious consideration to two. Last week, county officials narrowed the options to the plan that will be unveiled this afternoon.

Tim Winter, the county’s purchasing director, said the structure that will be proposed will consist of three decks and 127 parking spaces.

Winter said the county is using Steamboat Springs’ regulations to help determine how big the parking garage should be.

Winter said the proposed parking structure, along with about a dozen parking spaces that will remain around the complex, would provide adequate parking for the county buildings.

The parking structure is needed because the county will be losing parking spots on Sixth Street.

According to the plan, the southwest portion of Sixth Street would be closed so that an entryway between the annex and the judicial facility could be built.

County officials are also expecting to get a cost estimate for the project by the end of this week.

Through the election, the county is attempting to get help from taxpayers to pay for the project that has been ordered by the state.

The state has notified the county that the current courthouse, which was built in 1923, does not meet state standards.

The existing court facility, which houses a county judge and two district court judges in two courtrooms, is 11,200 square feet.

The level of square footage the state requires for a county with three judges is 33,200.

The new facility would include three courtrooms, conference rooms, holding cells and office space for court staff, prosecutors and the county’s probation department. The building would also provide space for a fourth courtroom if needed in the future.

County officials are proposing to renovate and remodel the existing courthouse. The new office space would be used by county departments that lease office space.

The Steamboat Springs Planning Commission and City Council are scheduled to examine the proposal in June.

To place the bond question on the ballot, the county must notify the county clerk’s office by July 29.

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