Breckenridge hits community pushback on old CMC bldg.
Summit Daily News
The Breckenridge Town Council hit some community resistance last week on a plan put up to $7 million into renovating the old CMC building as a new library.
The Peak School, the current tenant of the building, requested the town council restore the old structure as a school instead, while others in the community resisted the amount of money the local government is set to spend on the project.
“The town hasn’t really done their homework on what the other options might be,” said Carol Craig, of the Peak School board. “It’s just a lot of taxpayer dollars.”
The public pushback on the project comes weeks after the town approved a plan to gut the structure and redesign it as a library and community center.
“I think everybody on the council … is comfortable with the decision we made to go forward with this,” Councilman Mike Dudick said. “For a variety of reasons; a public building housing a private enterprise (The Peak School) is kind of uncomfortable, only 100 people getting to use it versus 100,000 that walk through the library and community center every year.”
The town spent months discussing possible uses for the building, including a new town hall facility and a school.
Peak School representatives say the latter makes the most sense. The building was originally designed as a school, meaning renovations would be less expensive, they argue, and backed by private funds from the rent they pay to the town.
“It’s such a great space,” Craig said, adding that gutting the structure for a library, “almost seems a little counter productive.”
The library at the old CMC building was pitched as a joint project between the Town of Breckenridge an Summit County Government – an alternative to building a new $3-million library building.
Officials say the county needs a new, larger space to replace the crowded facility at the Justice Center campus.
Breckenridge is waiting for the county to come back with a financial commitment to the project.
Summit County assistant manager Scott Vargo told the Summit Daily at the end of July the county and the library board are close to a deal with the town.
Current designs for the library inside the old CMC building call for an open facility with vaulted ceilings in the main room, a mezzanine, windows providing views of the mountains and dedicated spaces for children and other uses. There will also be an enhanced space for the Speakeasy movie theater, which currently operates out of the basement of the building.
Breckenridge purchased the old CMC building in 2009.
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