Design committee looking at costs of renovating or replacing community center
When Cedaredge town trustee Nancy Sturgill inadvertently called the Cedaredge Community Center a "senior center," during the Jan. 4 meeting of the loosely knit ad-hoc "Civic Center Design Committee," local resident Eileen Liles was quick to point out that "it is not a senior center."
Liles also questioned the rationale for the concessions the town has made to the VOA regarding the senior meals program.
Liles said she was told that the number of people that the VOA feeds has dropped off to "20-25 people."
Several days later, Deana Sheriff, program director for the Senior Community Meals, told the Delta County Independent that the Cedaredge congregate meal site serves "on average 50 or more people each day." Sheriff also said that in the summertime "those numbers go up."
During the design committee meeting Delta County Commissioner Bruce Hovde reminded everyone, "VOA came through when the town needed help with the senior meals. They have kept the seniors involved and have been very beneficial to this community."
Liles is the town's appointed representative to the Focus on Resource Efficiency (FORE) Alliance, an alliance "created to mitigate the impact of rising energy costs, and to bring greater resource efficiency and strategic planning to meet the present and future energy needs of the Delta/Montrose region." According to Liles, energy costs at the Community Center are so high that they have become a problem for the town.
Sturgill, who coordinated the meeting, explained how the committee has gotten to this point, and where it is going from here. She noted that this meeting was the first step in the development of a plan for 2012 with respect to the renovation of the Community Center and to identify problems and opportunities regarding the proposed renovation. Important questions are how much will it cost?; what will it look like?; and how will the renovation be funded?
According to Sturgill options include a) a complete renovation of the existing Community Center to include an energy efficiency retrofit; or b) to demolish the current building and build a new center specifically designed to meet the needs of the entire community.
According to the information distributed during the meeting, "The cost of remodeling will be expensive, and yield inferior results, not completely meeting community needs." Examples cited included "storage for chairs and tables, police department (vault, computer data); centralized town hall functions; and expansion as the community grows.
The rationale for building a new "Civic Center?" A new building could be built to new energy efficiency standards resulting in reduced energy costs. Those reduced energy costs could help pay for the cost of building. Funding could come from grants and other sources, and stakeholders (such as VOA and senior citizens) will be asked to help defray the costs associated with a new building.
Trustee Nelson Cederberg opined, "Non-profits are not going to pay," adding that the project "is not hinged on what [those] organizations are going to do."
Sturgill, noting that more research is needed, said the committee hasn't looked at funding or a budget, but that "low interest loans could be offset by lowering energy costs."
It was also noted that the existing Town Hall could be moved to a centralized site that would include a "command center" for emergencies as well as expanded community uses. According to the
mation provided, "A new Civic Center could save the Town of Cedaredge money because it would be more efficient for staff and energy efficient," and allow the town to rent or sell the existing Town Hall, potentially to a store that would generate sales tax revenue."
It was noted that the needs of Town Hall could be met with a 10,000 sq. ft. building. It was estimated a new building would cost $175 per sq. ft., and with removal of existing building and new parking lot, would be a $2 million project.
It was also noted that a 25,000 sq. ft. building would be needed to to meet "senior citizens and VOA congregate site meals, with kitchen facilities. Rough estimate $3-4 million."
When Cedaredge Area Chamber of Commerce president Larry Murphy asked about the chambers interest and involvement (through fundraisers) in building a new Civic Center, Liles (past Chamber president) answered that the chamber attracts people through events and that a Civic Center would give those people a place to gather during some of those events.
Board member Shari Seber said the fundraisers (dances) are geared more toward raising public awareness of the project than to raising money. "But," she added, "every little bit helps."
With nothing definitive coming out of the Jan. 4 meeting, Sturgill said the committee's priority should be geared toward establishing timelines for developing a site plan, design and cost analysis of the project.
Cederberg offered to send a questionnaire out to the non-profit organizations and others who are currently using the community center by Jan. 31, requesting information that will help the committee to identify their needs and desires.
The questionnaires will need to be returned to Cedaredge Town Hall no later than Feb. 17, prior to the next meeting of the Cedaredge Civic Center Design Committee, scheduled for Feb. 22, 3 p.m. in Room A of the Community Center.blog comments powered by Disqus