Culture

Building permit for new Estes Park Community Center issued; construction ‘full steam ahead’

ESTES PARK
Estes Valley Recreation and Park District announced the approval and receipt of the building permit for vertical construction of the new 70,000 square-foot Estes Valley Community Center.

Located at 660 Community Drive, the new facility will be home to multigenerational community space, including senior services, library resources, childcare facilities, indoor gardening space, meeting rooms and gathering spaces. The center will also be home to new recreation space, including an indoor walking track, updated aquatics facilities, multipurpose gymnasium space, fitness areas and locker rooms.

“The District Board of Directors had to make some difficult but necessary decisions this fall regarding funding priorities, and those choices are now paying dividends because everyone involved worked long hours to keep the project within budget and on schedule,” said Tom Carosello, Director of the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District. “We are obviously excited to get this important milestone behind us, and a large portion of funds previously reserved for project contingencies is now back into the construction budget, which means the end result is a larger building and better experience for the public,” Carosello added.

The permit was approved on December 28, 2016, just days before the Jan. 1 deadline stipulated in the Town of Estes Park’s 2014 Ballot Measure 1A initiative
that would have given the town the option to redirect 1A money earmarked for the community center to the expansion of the existing senior center. With the permit approval, the goal of incorporating enhanced senior services into the community center as specified in an IGA struck between the town and EVRPD last summer will continue, as will EVRPD’s commitment to fronting an additional $3 million in 1A funding for the facility through an agreement with a local financial institution.

Providing a new place and updated programming for the active-adult community in Estes Valley is an important goal for EVRPD as part of its commitment to building a stronger sense of community. Though seniors will obviously have access to the entire facility, spaces in the lower level of the new facility which will be primarily geared toward senior services between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. include a lounge/lobby area, game room, classroom, more than 3,000 square feet of multipurpose space and a large community kitchen.

“District personnel and town senior services staff have been meeting regularly for the last several months to identify ways to not only preserve existing senior-services programming, but to add new alternatives as well,” said Carosello. “One of the next steps will be to form a senior advisory committee to help guide the implementation of new offerings.”

Planning and building complex, modern facilities always presents challenges related to achieving various code requirements and coordinating complicated stages of construction. The community center is no exception; the idea first ignited more than 60 years ago, when the founders of EVRPD suggested that the District should focus on three main goals after its inception: construction of a pool, a golf course and a community center.

Ballot measures aimed at implementing such a facility failed three times prior to gaining voter approval by a slim margin November 3, 2015.
Following nearly a year of plan refinements and

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