Work on Trillium House, the new headquarters for Yampa River Botanic Park, is on schedule for an opening before the end of the year in spite of high water in the neighborhood.
"We were very fortunate (building contractor) Jack White got in there and started digging the foundation before the water came up," city of Steamboat Springs Parks Supervisor Ernie Jenkins said. "It has really helped us stay on schedule."
Trillium House, comprising 1,440 square feet, will squeeze in offices for Botanic Park staff, a small public meeting room, bathrooms for park visitors, a kitchen for small gatherings and a botanic library for research. There will be lockers and a utility sink to help park workers clean up after their shifts.
"We're on a very tight site, but we managed to raise the ceiling so we could include a mezzanine for future expansion," Botanic Park benefactor Bob Enever said.
Enever agreed the decision to scrape snow off the site in March showed foresight given that the neighboring Yampa River Core Trail was beneath 4 inches of water as recently as two weeks ago.
"I owned that property for 30 years, so I know what the river can do," Enever said.
Enever and his wife, Audrey, donated the original land for the Botanic Park and, more recently, the site for Trillium House. The timber frame building designed by architect Ed Becker of Mountain Architecture Design Group, is on the south end of the Botanic Park and the northern edge of Fish Creek Mobile Home Park.
The building is most visible to members of the public rolling by on the Core Trail. A flagstone patio would flank the northeast elevation of the building.
Enever said he originally anticipated building a sturdy but unassuming building that would allow park staff to get out of a rented office suite on the opposite side of U.S. 40 at Steamboat Square. However, he said board member John Duffey convinced him to make it more visually appealing. The board agreed to borrow the extra building funds from the park's endowment, and seeks to replace those monies after the fact with a capital campaign.
Duffey reasoned that the park could build stronger relationships with its constituents if the board made a modest investment in Trillium House.