Steamboat Springs Construction on a community center in Hayden could start this year, if a builder willing to do the job for the right price can be found.
"If we can even get a contractor we'll be delighted because everyone is so busy," said Dace Kramer.
Kramer is the coordinator for the Visiting Nurse Association's Aging Well program. She is heading efforts to build the community center as an addition to The Haven Assisted Living Center.
"We have the conceptual drawings completed and all the site preparation work done," Kramer said.
The nonprofit VNA organization has raised about $1.25 million for the project, which includes a $600,000 Colorado Department of Local Affairs grant that needs to be used within 18 months of when the grant was awarded. The grant expires in May, so Kramer met with the Routt County Board of Commissioners this week to request a grant extension.
"We have several steps to go until we break ground," said Kramer, adding she is not disappointed with the speed of progress. "We want it done right."
Kramer said the Hayden Planning Commission is scheduled to review the site plan at its April 12 meeting.
The 5,000-square-foot community center will be the base of operations for the Aging Well program, which emphasizes arts, wellness and other activities and integrates seniors with residents of all ages throughout the community.
Hayden residents will be able to utilize the center along with residents at The Haven and other participants in the Aging Well program.
Hayden residents likely will find many uses for the center. Their input was sought when planning the building and amenities.
The current plans call for a large community gathering room that could be sectioned off to accommodate groups of different sizes. There will be a physical therapy office and exam room. An exercise room will be available to the public, Kramer said. The center also will have an Internet cafe.
"We're really interested and excited about putting an Internet cafe there because we think it will encourage more intergenerational activity," Kramer said.
An outdoor plaza is integrated in the overall design.
"It was my concept to come up with more than just a building," said architect Ron Szerlong. "It has outdoor elements."
The VNA still has to accept bids for construction and then finalize plans according to the budget and projected costs.
"It really depends on what our construction contractor says we can do," Kramer said. "Whether or not we'll be able to break ground (this year), we'll just have to see what the construction climate and schedule allows."