Steamboat Springs City Hall put to good use ahead of Tuesday demolition (with video) |

Steamboat Springs City Hall put to good use ahead of Tuesday demolition (with video)

An excavator driven by Bruce Cowell of Dynamis Demolition lifts an HVAC system off the roof of the Steamboat Springs City Hall building Tuesday, May 2, 2023, as crews start the demolition of the exterior of the building to make room for a new city hall and fire station. The HVAC system is headed to Regis University where it will be repurposed.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Steamboat Springs City Hall, which was built in 1961 and first served as a U.S. Forest Service office, is being demolished this week, but city staff and contractors are working to divert from the landfill as many reusable building parts as possible.

Lennie Herron, president of Herron Enterprises USA in Lakewood, is the demolition contractor working to deconstruct materials for reuse or recycling, if possible, ranging from metals to concrete. During a brief tour of the outside of the mostly gutted building Tuesday, May 2, Herron announced that the large 325,000 Btu natural gas heating and air conditioning system on the City Hall roof is being donated and delivered to Regis University in Denver.

City Facilities Manager Eric Friese said the HVAC unit was first evaluated for reuse by the city but did not fit the specifications for any city building, plus the city is working to move away from natural-gas use toward electrification of building energy. On Tuesday, Friese was still receiving calls from area business owners who wanted to come over to remove and reuse specific items from outside the building.

Many other items are being reused, such as the sprinkler controls going to the Parks and Recreation Department. Students in the engineering technology class at Steamboat Springs High School removed the sturdy wooden portico from in front of City Hall.

When the city hosted a community-wide open house in mid-March, some 30 nonprofit organizations and, later, citizens, picked up items such as used furniture, file cabinets, shelving, doors, window shades, partitions, three-ring binders, faucets and toilets. Friese estimates that 98% of the inside items not reused were given away. Some items such as metal file cabinets with broken locks or faulty drawers were taken to metal recycling.

“We’re pretty well stripped out,” Friese said Tuesday.

Although the interior of the building was remodeled in 2002, much of the building remains original 1960s construction, Friese said.

Lawn Lady employee Juan Rizo, left, and owner Jeff Neeley save brick pavers from Steamboat Springs City Hall on Tuesday, May 2.
Suzie Romig/Steamboat Pilot & Today

City officials say 10th Street adjacent to the project should be closed for use within the week after the final traffic control plan is approved. The parking lot at 10th and Lincoln Avenue will remain open as long as possible, perhaps for another month. The electric vehicle charging station adjacent to that parking lot has been closed for the duration of construction and will be reinstalled later. In the meantime, more EV charging ports are planned for addition soon at Howelsen Hill Rodeo Grounds parking lot, Friese said.

At least three mature evergreen trees were cut down on the project site with large trunk sections donated to the Whittle the Wood Rendezvous chainsaw carving competition taking place in late June in Craig. Other parts of the large trees and smaller trees went to local composting operations.

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The building contained a significant amount of asbestos in weight-bearing walls, flooring, caulking around windows and window framing panels, so those items needed to be abated and disposed of in accordance with state regulations.

The Nov. 30, 1961, edition of The Steamboat Pilot noted the building was completed by builder Paul Hunt, who leased the space to the Forest Service. The newspaper reported the cost of the 5,200-square-foot building was approximately $65,000.

Before final demolition started, the city police and fire departments used the old building for significant training exercises. Shattered glass, holes in exterior walls and cuts in the roof indicate the extent of the public safety exercises.

Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue used the building to run various fire scenarios primarily focused on a building structure fire that involved a victim, and the police practiced breaching or forced entry exercises, said Mike Lane, city communications manager.

Herron said piles of materials pulled out and pushed down from the building will be separated later to remove recyclable metal materials such as structural steel, mechanical equipment, ductwork and cabling. He said the process is somewhat easier because the building tested negative for lead paint. Concrete, asphalt, decorative stone and brick pavers all will be gathered for reuse or recycling as vendors and opportunities allow.

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