Saturday, October 19, 2002
Steamboat Springs Snow has not quite stuck to the ground yet in Steamboat Springs, but plans are already in the works for improvements to Howelsen Hill's winter facilities.
The second phase of fund-raising to cover the ski jumps in plastic has begun, and Howelsen Ice Arena should see a new front lobby by January.
With one jump expected to be covered by next summer, fund-raising is continuing for the Howelsen Hill ski jumps.
Linda Kakela, the city's director of intergovernmental services, said design and engineering will begin early this winter on the jumps and construction will begin next summer.
Kakela said it is less likely the bigger jumps would receive plastic first. Starting with the smaller jumps would mean none of them would be shut down during construction.
The city has received $1.2 million in a matching grant from the Energy Impact Fund. The Colorado Ski Heritage Project has also raised $400,000 in private pledges and donations.
Kakela said the group is now looking for donations from private foundations and will soon begin soliciting corporations. Because the grant from the Department of Local Affairs is a matching grant, the Colorado Ski Heritage Project has to raise $1.2 million.
Kakela said the project is still on schedule and on budget.
The heritage committee wants to put plastic on the jumps, which would allow skiers to train year-round and ensure Steamboat will remain one of the premier jumping facilities in the West.
Kakela said work with the U. S. Ski and Snowboard Association continues, and they see how the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and facilities can be a significant part of the larger program.
In its third and final phase of renovations, the Howelsen Ice Arena should have a lobby by January.
Ice arena manager Stacey Foster said they are waiting for approval from the Routt County Regional Building Department before starting construction.
Last month, a foundation and slab were laid at the arena.
Foster said construction for the new lobby, which will include a front desk for admissions and skate rentals and staff offices, should begin by Nov. 1.
The new lobby will also house a room to sharpen skates and an open-space area.
This year's expansion is the first phase of the two-story lobby project.
Foster said the Ice Rink Advisory Committee is hoping to add a second part to the first story, with a concession stand, game room and a fifth locker room.
The second story will be a multipurpose room that opens out onto the ice and can be used for meetings or parties. There could also be six offices.
With the city's youth programs moving into the modular office connected to the ice rink this year, the administration offices, admission area and skate rentals have moved into the back corner of the ice rink, which was previously a storage area.
The entire project, which included improvements to the ice sheet, new bleachers and locker rooms and front lobby, is estimated at $3.27 million.
The lobby should cost $500,000 and is funded through private donations and the city.