Avon plots improvements to recreation center, park and streets
Town engineer provides update on improvements to a number of town assets that add up to over $6M in costs
In 2021, the town of Avon has nearly $6.9 million of its proposed revised budget slated for making capital improvements around town. While some of the projects in Avon are regularly scheduled improvements, others reflect the town’s investment in some of its larger assets, including Harry A. Nottingham Park.
At the July 13 Town Council meeting, Town Engineer Justin Hildreth provided an update on the town’s current capital improvement projects, as well as provided an outlook for projects into the fall and beyond.
Avon Recreation Center
The Avon Recreation Center recently got a bit of a makeover on its exterior with the completion of the town’s largest mural, painted by artist Pat Milbery. Now, community members can help the town name the new mural on its Engage Avon website.
And with the outside looking fresh, the town also has some plans for the inside.
In order to make a number of improvements to the interior, portions of the rec center will be closed in October. During this time the following projects are scheduled to be completed:
- Replastering of the pools: This is a recurring project, which is required to be completed every 10 years and was last done in 2009. Costing between $215,000 and $141,000, which comes from the equipment replacement fund with the rest supplemented by the capital improvements fund, the project will also include some tile replacement for cosmetic and code compliance reasons.
- Jacuzzi and pool deck repairs: According to Hildreth, the jacuzzi is currently closed due to a leak and is losing 3,000 gallons of water per day. For this reason, Hildreth is recommending that the leak be fixed this October. Fixing this will require removing concrete, excavating the pipe and replacing the pipe and concrete. While this project is being completed, Hildreth is also recommending that the town repair areas on the pool deck where concrete has settled. The cost of this project is $60,000 and was not included in the current capital improvements budget.
Looking ahead to 2022, the town is looking to upgrade the rec center’s current heating and air conditioning building automation system. The system, which is 10 years old, would receive repairs to its communication network and to its energy efficiency. According to Hildreth, the project will cost around $250,000 and be constructed in 2022.
“Since we’re going to look at the system as a whole, we also will look at some energy savings, which obviously goes within our climate action goals,” Hildreth said. “All of this is powered by natural gas, and I know that is one of the long-term goals is to slowly transition away from natural gas to electric.”
Over the past few years, the town has invested a lot of money into Harry A. Nottingham Park, seeking to make it a go-to amenity for residents and visitors. However, the town still has bigger plans for its future.
This summer, the town has several ongoing projects. One of those is landscaping improvements to the west end of the park, which started April 1. According to Hildreth, the $318,000 project is nearing completion and included upgrades to landscaping, replacing the softball field with a multi-use athletic field, the addition of a new picnic and seating area, updates to the irrigation system and more.
This summer, one of the main visible projects in the park is the demolition of the old Town Hall. While behind schedule, the project has a budget of $643,359 to clean the site and prepare it for future development. It should be completed this fall.
Currently, the town has involved Zehren and Associates to design what’s next for the site. While no decisions have been made, the Town Council did provide direction. Council supported a design plan that contained minimal development but did include restrooms, parking, a large green space, new walkways and something that maintains the new views of Beaver Creek from the park.
Construction of this space is estimated for spring 2022 and currently has nearly $1.3 million allocated in the five-year capital improvements budget.
“I think it’s pretty profound what’s happening out there. The [old town hall] building is no longer there, the trees look huge all of the sudden, and there’s quite a few more views, particularly to the south,” said Pedro Campos, principal with Zehren and Associates. “It started shifting our thinking; I speculated that once the building came down we might learn some things and think about [this space] differently, and I think that’s happening.”
The pavilion has also been undergoing a few improvements this summer, including the installation of a new concrete slab, tile repairs and a new railing. It is expected to be completed by the end of July and stay within its budget of $425,600.
Going forward, the town also has plans for a new restroom facility near the beach and volleyball courts. Still pending public comment, design and design review, the restrooms have a total budget of $500,000 between 2021 and 2022. Construction is expected to start in September 2022.
As the park grows in popularity, the town and Town Council are also looking at additional programming and improvement opportunities. On Aug. 3, the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission is walking the park, alongside interested members of council, to discuss the park’s future.
Across the town, Town Council has provided direction on a number of upcoming road improvement projects. These include the following:
- Metcalf Road Repair: A 30-foot long section of a culvert underneath Metcalf Road collapsed and is in need of replacing and will require a full excavation of the road. The whole project is expected to cost $300,000 and be completed before winter, according to Hildreth.
- Pedestrian and safety improvements to the I-70 underpass on Avon Road: Construction of this $1.05 million project is scheduled to start in August and be completed by November. In its entirety, the project will include rerouting the sidewalk, adding landscaping, constructing snow sheds and improving draining. This project was particularly contentious with Town Council when it was presented in March.
- Buck Creek Road Repair: Scheduled to be completed this fall, the $800,000 project will include new asphalt, drainage improvements, retaining wall repairs and a guardrail replacement on Buck Creek Road.
- Mikaela Way Paving: With a budget of $400,000, this project will include new asphalt, concrete repairs, drainage improvements and American with Disabilities Act upgrades on Mikaela Way. It is scheduled to be completed this fall.
One road project, which the Town Council remains largely undecided on, is the construction of several digital display signs across town. The first is to be installed in late July on the Union Pacific Railroad Bridge over Avon Road.
The Planning and Zoning Commission will evaluate additional locations for six digital signs at an upcoming meeting — although, at the June 22 Town Council meeting, council members remained skeptical about the signs in general. And since the project is not fully realized, neither is the budget, although the initial budget for three digital signs was $150,000.
“I think that the locations need to be nuanced, they need to be maximum exposure for least amount of visual impact,” said Council member Tamra Underwood on June 22, summing up the sentiment of multiple council members. “I’m not anti-neighborhood sign, but I want us to do it right, and we’re spending now some huge money on this for something we have no experience with. That makes me uncomfortable.”
US Highway 6 Resurfacing
While not a project of the town of Avon, travelers have likely noticed delays along U.S. Highway 6 in and around Avon. These delays are part of a $5.9 million resurfacing project headed up by the Colorado Department of Transportation.
The project, which started on April 26, consists of repaving the existing asphalt surface from Avon to Dowd Junction. Additionally, the project will include the following:
- Repaving the eastbound on-ramp on I-70 at exit 169
- Repaving the westbound off-ramp on I-70 at exit 171
- Improvements made between mile marker 172 and 173 in EagleVail including Americans with Disabilities Act ramp upgrades, the replacement of a guardrail, striping, the addition of a bike lane, erosion control and traffic control management
According to CDOT’s schedule, the project will be completed in October of this year, with construction taking place all day Monday through Friday.
Information about additional CDOT projects in the county can be found at CDOT.gov/projects.
Reporter Ali Longwell can be reached at email@example.com.