A rendering of an aerial view of the proposed expansion to Bud Werner Memorial Library. Lincoln Avenue is in the foreground, and the existing library is at the right. Local voters approved the $11.4 million expansion in 2005.

Courtesy of Gregory Effinger

A rendering of an aerial view of the proposed expansion to Bud Werner Memorial Library. Lincoln Avenue is in the foreground, and the existing library is at the right. Local voters approved the $11.4 million expansion in 2005.

Checking out the library

Steamboat Springs planners to review massive addition

Advertisement

photo

Courtesy of Gregory Effinger

A rendering of an aerial view of the proposed expansion to Bud Werner Memorial Library. Lincoln Avenue is in the foreground, and the existing library is at the right. Local voters approved the $11.4 million expansion in 2005.

If you go

What: Steamboat Springs Planning Commission meeting to review the proposed expansion of Bud Werner Memorial Library and a pre-application for Bear Claw III, a 10-building development adjacent to the Steamboat Ski Area

When: 6 p.m. today

Where: Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

Call: 871-8258

— The proposed expansion of Bud Werner Memorial Library faces perhaps its largest step in the city's approval process tonight.

During a 6 p.m. meeting at Centennial Hall, the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission is scheduled to review final plans for the 20,000-square-foot, $11.4 million library expansion. If approved, the project would more than triple the size of the current building at Lincoln Avenue and 13th Street.

The commission also is scheduled to review preliminary plans for Bear Claw III, a 10-building resort complex adjacent to the slopes of Steamboat Ski Area.

Tonight's meeting essentially could result in final approval for the library expansion.

Because the Steamboat Springs City Council has given the Planning Commission greater responsibility, a unanimous recommendation by commission members would all but guarantee council approval of the library project.

On Jan. 17, the council quickly gave final approval to The Victoria and Sundance North Village, two large developments that had received unanimous recommendations from the Planning Commission.

Reviews of library expansion plans have been positive.

"I think it's a good-looking building," Tom Leeson, director of city planning services, said last month.

The Minneapolis-based firm Meyer, Scherer and Rockcastle is the primary architectural firm for the expansion. Steamboat resident Scott Myller of West Elevation Architects also is working on the project.

The current library is about 9,500 square feet, Myller said. The expansion includes 23,400 square feet of new space.

The majority of the current library would be "opened up" into a large community room as part of the expansion, for which local voters approved funding in November 2005.

Third time's a charm

Development at Bear Claw III was first proposed in 1985, when city officials approved a 440,000-square-foot complex on the site southeast of the ski area's gondola building. The development did not occur, and the Planning Commission next addressed the site in 2001.

The Atira Group of Steamboat Springs has purchased the Bear Claw III site and now is proposing a 10-building project on land it calls "the last great undeveloped ski-in/ski-out property left on the mountain in Steamboat."

A city planning official called that statement "somewhat true."

"I think the way Ski Time Square could be revised might change that," said Brian Berndt, assistant director of city planning services. "But we'll give (Atira Group) the benefit of the doubt at this time."

Berndt said several steps in the approval process remain for Bear Claw III.

"They're just asking for direction about the housing plan and basic design," Berndt said. "There's still work to do."

- To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203

or e-mail mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

another_local 7 years, 2 months ago

"The majority of the current library would be "opened up" into a large community room as part of the expansion"

Our city council gets suckered again by the noisy senior lobby. Why was it again that it would not work to use this space in the library as a community center? Good thing we are spending that 3 million on a new building when the libary has 5000 square feet of extra space for a "community room".

0

steamvent 7 years, 2 months ago

One of these days citizens may realize that voting for all these improved community amenities and feel good social programs is significantly adding to their personal financial burden - wait 'til they get their next tax bill and see the impact of increased mil levies and fresh valuations. "Affordable" is a fast moving target folks, and we are doing it to ourselves.

0

fish 7 years, 2 months ago

I for one am at a loss as to why the expansion of the library was approved in the first place. What idiot came up with the idea to tear down the community center to build a community room? These same people probably tear down the house to repair a leaky roof. Thank god they are not in the medical field, they would probably amputate your leg to trim your toenails.

0

Tigger 7 years, 2 months ago

Steamvent, we are already feeling the burden. My taxes alone went up a couple hundred dollars. Hey, we need a good library. It is the cornerstone for education or an info. center for the community. I feel libraries serve a useful purpose and that the cost is justifiable. Anyway, the preliminary sketches look nice. Cheers!

0

another_local 7 years, 2 months ago

I voted for the new library and I knew what it was going to cost me when I did it.... but I did not get to vote on the community center. Since there was no new tax for that boondogle the council did not have to get our agreement. They are spending 3 million of public funds that could have reduced the debt load of the library project, gone to affordable housing, built a skate park or just paid down other debt (tennis bubble anyone?) and reduced interest costs.

So.. now when we could have had the community center as part of the library at a very small additional cost we are spending 3 million in public money to build a new one in a bad location; twice the size we need too.

0

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.