Steamboat’s 62-year-old city hall will shutter March 13 with construction on new complex scheduled to start in April |

Steamboat’s 62-year-old city hall will shutter March 13 with construction on new complex scheduled to start in April

City is pushing ahead with the project despite significant cost increases

Steamboat Springs staff will finish vacating the city’s 62-year-old City Hall building by March 13, with construction on the new buildings ramping up in April.
City of Steamboat Springs/Courtesy photo

Steamboat Springs staff will vacate offices in the city’s 62-year-old city hall building by the second week in March, which will start the process of transforming the block into a campus including a new city hall building and fire station.

City staff have been working to move out of the building in recent weeks, relocating key city departments to nearby Centennial Hall and Elkins House. By March 13, all city hall departments will have completed the move.

“The anticipation is building as staff moves out of the current facility and makes plans to continue municipal services for the next 18 to 24 months,” Deputy City Manager Tom Leeson said in a news release. “The project is long overdue and will serve our community for decades to come.”

The estimated price tag of the new complex has approached $34 million, largely due to increased construction costs and design changes such as going with an all-electric building instead of installing a natural gas heating ventilation and cooling system. Other design choices, like removing one of the firetruck bays in the station, have helped lower the cost of the buildings.

Despite the latest cost increases and concerns from Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue about the fire department’s ability to pay for its portion of the new city complex, City Council opted to continue with the project in January. Earlier this month, council approved a supplemental budget that included provisions related to the city hall and fire station project.

On Feb. 7, council member Heather Sloop repeated her concerns that the project’s cost has gotten too high and she voted against the budget adjustment.

“I don’t support the city hall budget and the fire station budget increasing the way it is, specifically city hall,” Sloop said. “Spending citizens’ money for this project can be done cheaper, and we are not doing that.”

All furniture and other items will be removed from the current city hall building by March 13, and at that point abatement will begin. Officials anticipate this will take about four weeks.

This process will also require a perimeter fence to be set up around the city hall building, which will eliminate parking behind the building, as well as parking on the street in front of it.

The city plans to have three giveaway days for furniture that won’t make the move, starting with availability for nonprofits on March 14 and then the general public March 15-16.

Once abatement is complete, the city anticipates construction will start around April 17. This will require a larger perimeter fence to be put up around city hall and forever shuttering the parking lot on 10th Street. At this time, the section of 10th Street between the alley and Oak Street will also close for good, as an outdoor civic plaza will replace this area.

While street parking on the west side of 10th Street will close when construction starts, the row of parking on the east side of the street will remain accessible.

“(The project) will transform a two-block section of downtown into a civic campus, which will serve the community for generations,” city officials wrote in the news release. “The downtown fire station and city hall will redefine municipal services, bringing modern technologies and efficiencies, as well as an outdoor civic plaza for the benefit of citizens across the community.”

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