S’thorne town hall remodel project back
SILVERTHORNE – The town of Silverthorne is taking another look at remodeling its nearly 20-year-old town hall building – a project that first became a prospect three years ago.The immediate needs for town hall include an improved sound system in the town council chambers, a better security setup for the entire building and better utilization of space to provide room for new employees, said director of public works Bill Linfield.The project is expected to cost between $400,000 and $600,000.The town progressed as far as securing an architect for the project in late 2002, but by early 2003, the council had opted not to move forward because of financial hardships.At that time, the budget for the project was $335,000, but the lowest bid for construction was about $435,000.Also, the town was in a tight financial situation and had recently laid-off 10 full-time jobs.The timing is more appropriate now to consider the project because the town’s revenue situation is looking much more positive and new employees are scheduled to come on board, Linfield said.He estimates the project will now cost up to $600,000 in today’s dollars.
The very earliest money for the project could be allotted is the 2006 budget.More employees equals more space”There is a need for two more people in town hall, but no place to put them.” Linfield said.Town management recently decided to reintroduce the idea of a remodel after the council gave the go ahead for the town’s community development department to hire a long-range planner. Also, the town manager wants to hire an economic development employee later this year.The police department is also cramped for space in its quarters, Linfield said.The current plans, which were drafted by Dillon’s Oz Architects in 2002, call for the utilization of 1,000 square feet of space that used to serve as Silverthorne’s library.The new library moved into the North Branch building in 2000 and since then, the old space hasn’t had a permanent use.
In the plans, the general government employees – including the town clerk and those in finance and administrative services – would all move to the library space.The police department would then expand into what is now the front desk area and the town manager’s assistant would move into an office, instead of her current cramped nook.At a recent work session, council members seemed open to the idea of the remodel, though many stressed the importance of maintaining the integrity of the original building design.”I think we should not be overwhelmed by the aesthetics … I’m interested in what works best,” said Mayor Lou DelPiccolo. “I don’t think we should shortchange the functional aspect of it.”One option discussed was adding an expansion of the council chambers to the project, which would tack on about $500,000 to the bill.But, the message from the council was: Keep it simple.”I’m comfortable with the council chamber as is,” Councilmember Dave Koop said. “I think it serves its purpose.”An expansion isn’t justified because council meetings are rarely packed to the point where extra seats need to be brought in, Koop said.
The council also advised the town against stretching the construction out three or four years, especially since employees will continue to work in the building while work is being completed.Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 229, or at email@example.com.Silverthorne town hall statisticsBuilt in: 1986Size: About 14,000 square feet Employees: About 45 from police, community development and general government departmentsOriginal construction cost: $1.2 million
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