Bob Robichaud discusses the progress made so far on the construction site of the new Community Center in Steamboat Springs on Wednesday morning.

Photo by Brian Ray

Bob Robichaud discusses the progress made so far on the construction site of the new Community Center in Steamboat Springs on Wednesday morning.

Builders aim for February

Community Center construction will continue throughout winter



Community Center

Construction of the Steamboat Springs Community Center is expected to be completed by February.

Construction of the Steamboat Springs Community Center is expected to be completed by February.


Contracted employee Rob Long works on the ceiling at the construction site of the new Community Center in Steamboat Springs on Wednesday morning.

— Construction of the new Steamboat Springs Community Center, which aims to be the first building in Northwest Colorado to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, is on track for completion this winter.

"We're delivering the building in February," said Rick Gliniecki, project manager for Fox Construction.

Exterior construction of the $3.6 million facility, which will replace a former community center demolished to make way for an expansion of the Bud Werner Memorial Library, is almost entirely complete. On Wednesday, interior work was being done, including the hanging of drywall.

"All that is recycled and diverted from the landfill," Gliniecki said of the drywall.

A heavy reliance on recycled materials is part of the LEED certification process. LEED is a rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council as a voluntary program to define and measure "green," or environmentally friendly, buildings. LEED buildings are awarded ratings from "certification," to silver, gold and platinum levels.

"We're going for silver at this point, but we're trying to accumulate as many points as we can to get gold," Gliniecki said. "You don't know until you submit."

Walking through the Community Center, some of the building's features - such as solar tubes hanging from the ceiling to provide lighting - are obviously green ones. Others are subtler.

"The plastic paneling for the kitchen is 100 percent recycled plastic," Gliniecki pointed out on a tour of the building.

Other features include the use of recycled steel roof panels and wood purchased from suppliers approved by the Forest Stewardship Council.

"When you buy FSC wood, the providers of wood are practicing good forest management skills," Gliniecki said.

Gliniecki said LEED certification has added 8 to 20 percent to the cost of the building but has not made it more difficult or time-consuming to construct.

"Overall, if you plan ahead, it doesn't hinder the building process," he said.

Also, it is hoped that a finished product that will ultimately be cheaper to run will offset the higher price tag. For example, the exterior walls are constructed from dense foam blocks which, when stacked together, create a void which is then filled with concrete.

The resulting walls are highly insulated and very "tight," which means very little air is lost to leakage, reducing energy costs.

"Overall, this building is very, very energy efficient just by its design," Gliniecki said.

Bob Robichaud, facilities manager for the city, said the Community Center, when completed, will provide a new home base for the currently displaced Routt County Council on Aging.

"The primary user is the Routt County Council on Aging, and other than that, we're going to open it up to most anyone who has a need," Robichaud said. "It's a community facility. That's how it will be treated."

Robichaud said the building may host weddings and other functions. Rental fees have not yet been established. The building's main community room has an occupancy of 382 people.


steamvent 9 years, 3 months ago

knowNOTHING ... the constant negative tone to all of your postings reveal an unhappy individual who will likely never be happy with anything. Your pissy ramblinings on all subjects dilute any credibility you might hope to express. Perhaps you should get out more, make a contribution to your local community and find out what many people are really doing to enhance your surroundings. As an alternative ... seek counselling.


Mark Mueller 9 years, 3 months ago or Surely a few seconds of typing and reading could alleviate an eternity of vacuous posts.

Recycling drywall doesn't really make sense in Colorado and particularly in Steamboat, but it is successful elsewhere. About 90% of drywall is gypsum and "whoa nelly" gypsum is mined in Gypsum Colorado which is about 70 miles from here, and also the location of an American Gypsum plant, makers of drywall products. The LEED program gives credits for buying materials that are manufactured within so many miles of the job site (Gypsum qualifies), which is intended to reduce the environmental impacts of transportation.

So, it's possible that it would have been greener to buy new sheet rock from American Gypsum instead of shipping recycled stuff in from somewhere far away with a minimal outcome on the LEED credits (I have no involvement with this project so I can't answer that), but I caution anyone from loosing sight of the forest for the trees. LEED is better designed to achieve results by the accumulation of numerous small steps across the country instead of the perfect optimization of one community center (complete with dance floor) in remote north western Colorado. Using recycled drywall in this case gives the new practice much needed marketing exposure, and it's now more likely to be used in places where it is more practical - there is enormous nation wide value in that alone.

No doubt constructive criticism and open dialog is the most effective way of improving these processes



annonymous 9 years, 3 months ago

Watch the video associated with this article. Mr. Gliniecki clears up the issue about the drywall, which is not made of recycled material but rather the scraps from this project are diverted from the landfill by offering it for reuse. While much of a LEED project is about using recycled materials, it also includes how much material does NOT go to the landfill, but becomes available for recycling or reuse.

Knowitall - please tell all of us how much experience you have with a LEED project.

It appears that this City project is meant to provide a better understanding of how to build in a more energy efficient and environmentaly friendly manner and to be a role model for the rest of the community.

All construction projects don't need to be LEED certified, but a lot can be learned by using the LEED methods as a guideline to better building practices.


annonymous 9 years, 3 months ago

Drywall can be recycled. If you want more information visit Please do NOT confuse me with sbvor!!


connellp 9 years, 1 month ago

knowitall is one of the most ignorant people i've ever come across. for claiming to "know it all" it seems he knows pretty much jack about building and green building in particular. its great to be a skeptic and question information but you need to have some background info before you make the stupid claims that i have read that you made. i agree with you that green washing is a real phenomenon but that doesn't make all green practices green washing. the LEED certification is the most credible measure out there and is by no means green washing. Green washing is when home depot tells you their paint brushes are green b/c the handles are made of plastic and so dont use wood. if you walk a little more down the aisle you'll find wood handled paint brushes that are labeled green b/c they don't pollute the environment by using plastic. that is green washing. not recycling dry wall


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