I am a senior citizen, architect and 37-year city resident who, on occasion, agrees with the Steamboat Pilot & Today's views. Your assessment of the community center is absolutely correct. The location is wrong and the cost is too high. Council needs to do some visionary long-range planning. Let's start by saying no to the community center at its current proposed location. This site is for a Multi-Modal Transportation Center with lots of parking - the result of a good long-range plan.
A new community/recreation center should be built at Howelsen Hill Park, as the original Howelsen Hill Park Master Plan and later revisions foresaw. This is an ideal location - at the base of the ski jumps surrounding the existing amphitheater with an upper level facing out to the ski jumps with sun decks, restaurant and year-round facilities.
Howelsen Hill, a city-owned, multiple-acre parcel with convenient access, would be an excellent site for a senior center within a multi-use pavilion/recreation center. The original Howelsen Hill Park Master Plan provided a planned recreational complex encouraging intense multiplicity of use, including (but not limited to) a viable ski area and jumping facility capable of accommodating international competitions. The plan's emphasis was placed on accommodating our permanent population (locals).
The envisioned recreation center was a complex that would include community meeting rooms, a teen center and handball/racquetball/basketball courts, among other enhancements. The plan called for a multi-use pavilion that would function as a large indoor sports/convention building with room for large community gatherings. Finally, an open courtyard and a path system linking the complex to the surrounding facilities were included. For water recreation uses, a private/public partnership with Steamboat Springs Health and Recreation Association can be a permanent answer. It can work at its present location with a long-range plan to include the post office site.
If our City Council had long-range vision and political will instead of being blind guides, our community could have integrated recreational amenities and economical use of funds instead of scattered buildings, duplication and exorbitant costs.
Robert S. Ralston