For the third time this year, the Civic Center Design Committee and other interested parties gathered at the Cedaredge Community Center to discuss responses to surveys seeking input from users of the Community Center and area residents.
Their purpose — to analyze usage based on future organizational and individual needs; type and amount of space needed; amenities that would make the facility better; and whether or not the users are willing to pay for use of the new facility, and if so, how much?
Options presented to the committee in January included completely renovating the existing Community Center (including an energy efficiency retrofit) or demolishing the current building and building a new center specifically designed to meet the needs of the entire community. Committee members appeared to favor the latter.
A memo accompanying the survey stated that the committee is considering replacing the existing community center, as opposed to an extreme makeover or renovation. The rationale — "The cost of remodeling will be expensive, and yield inferior results, not completely meeting community needs."
The memo also noted that a new facility would be more cost effective and could be built to new energy efficiency standards resulting in reduced energy costs, and that those reduced energy costs could help pay for the cost of building. It was also noted that "a new facility could be located adjacent or within the same property of the existing community center." Draft facility plans will be produced by the end of this year.
Information provided by town administrator Kathleen Sickles stated that the space used at the current town hall for town business is 2,226 square feet plus an additional 2,385 square feet of heated "unusable" space. This does not include the area used by the food bank. The facility's energy costs (gas and electric) totaled $4,086.09 in 2011.
The 2011 energy costs (gas and electric) at the current community center (with 9,520 square feet) totaled $10,356.88. Energy cost for both facilities for 2011 totaled $14,442.97 (or $1.02 per square foot, per year).
By comparison, energy costs (gas and electric) at the Hotchkiss Town Hall and Senior Citizens Center totaled $9,537 in 2011; Paonia — gas and electric totaled $4,648.58 for 6,300 sq. ft. in 2011 ($0.74 per sq. ft, per year); and Orchard City Town Hall (includes admin offices, council chambers and community center – approx. 5,000 sq. ft.) energy costs (gas and electric) totaled $2,350 in 2011 (less than $0.50 per sq. ft. per year). The Orchard City Town Hall was built in 2004.
Delta Montrose Electric Association has offered to donate up to $25,000 for a geo-exchange system for the Community Center, conditional upon a thorough energy efficiency makeover, according to DMEA board member Nancy Hovde. According to an Environmental Protection Agency report, geo-exchange systems can reduce energy consumption and corresponding emissions, by over 40 percent compared to air source heat pumps and by over 70 percent compared to electric resistance heating with standard air-conditioning equipment.
During the January meeting, it was noted that a 10,000 square foot building "would be sufficient for the Town of Cedaredge." Construction is estimated to cost $175 per square foot, and with removal of existing building and new parking lot, a new town hall could cost approximately 2 million dollars.
A 25,000 square foot building would be needed to meet the needs of senior citizens and VOA congregate site meals, with kitchen facilities. Construction would cost 3-4 million, and funding for a new civic center could come from grants and other sources. Organizations wanting to use the new facility (e.g. — VOA, Senior Citizens and others) will be asked to help defray the costs.
If and when a new building is built, the existing Town Hall with staff and administrative offices, along with an expanded Police Department that would include a Command Center for emergencies, meeting rooms and an event center for expanded community uses, would be moved to the new site. It was suggest such a move would save the town money "because it would be more efficient for staff and energy efficient." The town could then rent or sell the existing Town Hall "potentially to a store that would generate sales tax revenue."
Of those who responded to the first survey, 63.75 percent thought the existing facility was adequate; 90 percent would be willing to reuse or rent the existing facility again; only 15 percent felt there were needs not being met by to the current facility; that the current facility is the only large space available; and that "the current facility is satisfactory overall to the groups using the facility."
Some suggestions regarding possible improvements included adjustable room sizes; WiFi; overhead projection; a good sound system and class rooms. Of those users who responded, 55 percent indicated they would be willing to pay rent for space that meets their needs. VOA indicated that they would be willing to pay up to $500 per month.
With a such mixed bag of responses, the committee decided to seek more input with an online survey to area residents and others who might be interested in using and paying for use of the facility. These results were reviewed during the March 28 meeting.According to committee chair, Nancy Sturgill, 80 percent of the responses to the second survey were positive, suggesting that a lot more users may be beginning to recognize the need for a new facility and what it could be and should be.blog comments powered by Disqus