County accepts 5 architecture proposals

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— Routt County commissioners have received five architecture proposals for the first stage of a remodel to the County Courthouse Annex and the county's 135 Sixth St. property.

The amount of each bid cannot be disclosed yet, said Tim Winter, Routt County purchasing manager. The county still may negotiate with the bidding companies.

Moving forward with the remodel of the county's downtown buildings emphasizes the county's decision that its new justice center will not be built downtown.

"Basically, (we're) making a commitment to keep county offices downtown," County Manager Tom Sullivan said.

The total cost of the remodel is estimated at no more than $200,000, Winter said. The architectural work should cost about $20,000.

The remodel will involve minor changes to the interior, such as creating meeting rooms and changing the office configuration, as well as updating the exterior.

The Human Services Department will move into the 135 Sixth St. property. The Emergency Management Services and the Building Maintenance Department and Purchasing Department then would move into the first floor of the courthouse annex, followed eventually by the Environmental Health Department and the Routt County Coroner's Office, which have had to lease space downtown off the county's property.

This phase of the remodel of the county's downtown campus could be finished by the end of the year.

Commissioners will discuss the five proposals this afternoon, and could ask the top candidates to come in for a further interview.

The companies are Ron Szerlong Associates PC, Eric Smith Associates PC, Thira Inc., Steamboat Architectural Associates and Sopris Architecture. All except Sopris Architecture have Steamboat Springs offices.

"I'm very pleased to have four local architects that are really interested in the project," Winter said.

The decision to build the new $15.5 million, 52,000-square-foot justice center just west of downtown was formally made by county commissioners in April 2003.

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