Breckenridge welcome, Riverwalk Center upgrades considered for next year |

Breckenridge welcome, Riverwalk Center upgrades considered for next year

Caddie Nath
summit daily news

With preliminary 2012 budget work under way, Breckenridge is looking at the welcome center and Riverwalk Center as sites of potential upgrade projects to be funded in next year’s capital budget.

At the welcome center, improvements considered for 2012 include updates to the interior history exhibits. At the Riverwalk Center, town officials are considering putting as much as $200,000 into remodeling the bathrooms and installing more extensive audio-visual equipment in the next year.

As Breckenridge leaders consider promoting the Riverwalk Center as a bigger mountain concert venue in the future, they are also looking at upgrades that will make the center more attractive to promoters.

“(There is the idea of) capabilities for a big screen inside for concerts,” assistant public works director Tom Daugherty said. “We haven’t defined everything that would happen.”

The improvements would make the center more “user friendly,” Daugherty said, and might include infrastructure to allow concert organizers to install a big screen for shows. Staffers are estimating a possible $150,000 budget for the project.

The capital-improvement projects list is an annual scope of needed projects around town. The town council prioritizes the projects and funds the one-time expenses as money becomes available. The initial list of capital projects will be vetted at the town budget retreat Oct. 26, when next year’s budget will be discussed at length. A final budget will be adopted by December.

The initial list drafted by staffers also anticipates street projects, a study of the old CMC building considering future needs as well as a few arts district projects, Daugherty said.

Though actual costs on all of the proposed capital projects may vary, the town designated $500,000 for annual roadway resurfacing work, $600,000 for the proposed continuation of a Main Street improvement project that includes bulb-outs at the northern intersections at French St., Watson and Wellington and landscaping work between Wellington and Lincoln.

With the Speakeasy movie theater – a current resident of the old CMC building – looking for license to make some equipment upgrades that would require modifications to the space it leases, the town is also considering putting as much as $250,000 into programming next year to understand what future uses of the building might be and whether the Speakeasy’s modifications would impact those uses.

The town has discussed renovating the building to be used as a possible town hall facility in the future, but budget constraints have continually hindered the conversation.

In the arts district, paving the Barney Ford Parking Lot – a $150,000 project – restoring the Robert White House – a $120,000 project – and salvaging a historic burro barn behind the Robert White House – a $15,000 project – are all proposals for the capital-improvements list.

Public works officials are also looking at constructing a new administrative building to be shared with the Summit County Road and Bridge Department. The structure, budgeted at approximately $800,000 would allow the two agencies to consolidate and would provide storage space. The building, which is still in the discussion stages, would be located at the public works site on Airport road.

“We haven’t come to a firm agreement,” Daugherty said of the project. “This (money) is just a placeholder in case we get to a final agreement. A lot of things are unknown about that project right now.”

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