Consultant doesn’t recommend city of Steamboat pursue newspaper building for city offices | SteamboatToday.com

Consultant doesn’t recommend city of Steamboat pursue newspaper building for city offices

Steamboat Pilot & Today's printing operations were moved to Gypsum, leaving a large amount of warehouse space unused.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A consultant working with the city of Steamboat Springs to plan for its future facility needs is recommending against the city pursuing the Steamboat Pilot & Today's current headquarters as a place for city offices.

City officials toured the newspaper building, which is currently listed for sale by Steamboat Today's former owners, in the spring.

Following the tour, City Manager Gary Suiter said city officials left with some interest in possibly pursuing the commercial building as a space for city offices.

“If I had to gauge the level of interest from 1 to 10, personally I’d put it at a 6 or a 7,” Suiter said. “The pros kind of outweigh the cons.”

A space needs study recently conducted by the city throws some cold water on the idea.

The consultant who performed it deemed the building in west Steamboat would not be a suitable venue for relocating city departments.

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"Several department heads interviewed expressed a desire to stay downtown as a convenience to residents of Steamboat Springs; moving some departments but not all would further fracture city staff and create difficulties with collaboration between currently adjacent departments and staff members," the consultants wrote. "After speaking with city staff department heads and learning about relationships between departments and their interface with the public, Anderson Hallas (the consultant) does not recommend mobilizing employees to the Pilot Building."

The report noted the newspaper headquarters was being eyed by the city for a few different functions.

The fire department toured the facility thinking the building could possibly be converted to a fire station in the future.

The city's parks and recreation department also separately expressed an interest in possibly establishing indoor courts and a child care facility there.

However, the department found existing columns in the manufacturing part of the building would not allow the city to maximize the court space.

In addition, the city could not locate child care facilities under the flight path of Steamboat Springs Airport.

The space needs analysis, which will be presented to the City Council Tuesday night, concluded the city needs about 1,000 square feet of additional space to accommodate the expected growth of its staff in the coming years.

Alan Lind, the city's director of general services, said Tuesday it will be up to the council to decide whether to pursue the Pilot building any further.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10.

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