Breckenridge considers town hall transfer |

Breckenridge considers town hall transfer

Caddie Nath
summit daily news
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

Members of the Breckenridge Town Council are toying with the idea of relocating the town hall from its current location on Ski Hill Road to the more historic and stately former Colorado Mountain College (CMC) building on Harris Street.

Council members said they envisioned Breckenridge having a town hall more in sync with its historic look and feel.

“The council’s feeling is we’re a historic community, we value our heritage and (the old CMC building) is a terrific historical asset,” Mayor John Warner said. “It really seems to capture the historic fabric of our community by having a town hall that operates out of this older building.”

The current town hall is also filled to capacity, and any additional staff would require either an addition to the building or a shift to a bigger town hall location, such as the former CMC building.

Five of seven council members are supportive of the idea of relocating town hall, but discussions are ongoing, according to Warner.

“It’s certainly not a done deal,” he said. “We’re just kind of exploring options.”

But any plan to relocate town hall to Harris Street would face a number of road blocks, including a shortage of funding for the necessary remodel of the former CMC building.

Town council members have discussed on several occasions the option of putting the current town hall, a property adjacent to the gondola lot, and other town assets up for sale and using the money to fund the remodel of the former CMC, which would be needed if it were to become the new town hall.

But council members expressed hesitation with the prospect of getting involved with what could be an expensive remodel project at the old CMC.

“I am gravely concerned about the cost estimate,” Councilman Mike Dudick said at the work session. “You’re going to open up a can of worms when you start peeling away (at the building). I would want to feel really comfortable with the cost estimate to start with, before we even get into how we’re going to pay for it.”

In a 2009 memo to the council from Breckenridge staff, costs of a remodel of the old CMC building were estimated at $2 million, while an addition to the existing town hall and expanded parking was estimated at $3.1 million. Warner said more current estimates put the CMC remodel project at closer to $3 million.

The old CMC building currently houses the Speakeasy Movie Theater and provides space for CMC ceramics and dance classes.

A 2008 study indicated the old CMC building could comfortably provide space for town hall functions as well as approximately 10,000 extra square feet that could be used for other purposes, such as the ceramics and dance studios, according to a recent memorandum from town staff. The building has 90 parking spaces, a valuable asset in Breckenridge.

Officials have also explored the possibility of using the old CMC building for nonprofit office space or a library.

In addition to the current town hall building, staff identified several other town properties that could potentially be sold to help fund the old CMC remodel, including the Old Little Red lot, a residential structure on French Street.

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