Edwards residents say fieldhouse roof is an eyesore | VailDaily.com

Edwards residents say fieldhouse roof is an eyesore

Geoff Mintz
Daily correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado

EDWARDS, Colorado – An angry crowd of more than 50 Singletree residents descended unannounced on the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District Field House on Wednesday night to have their voices heard at the recreation district’s monthly board of directors meeting.

The issue at hand is the reflective nature of the 66,000-square-foot roof that covers the fieldhouse, which has become an eyesore in west Singletree, residents say.

According to the group, which was assembled primarily by word-of-mouth but also with the help of the Singletree Property Owners Association, the recreation district has not been sufficiently responsive to requests to mitigate or eliminate reflection off the roof.

George Gregory, who lives in Singletree and is serving as an unofficial leader of group, said the group wants the district to “commit to finding a solution and get it done by the end of the calendar year. We are here for you to understand the gravity of this situation. We are not two or three dilettantes upset about the roof.”

He went on to say that he and his constituents support what the district does in the community and that they have contributed the Singletree playing fields for the organization’s activities.

The fieldhouse has been open for a little more than a year and provides an indoor recreation center for gymnastics, soccer, lacrosse, softball and other sports. The facility also will open a skiing and snowboarding aerials training center by the end of the month.

Recreation district board members outlined several options for mitigating reflection off the roof, including planting trees around the front of the building and installing solar panels, which the roof originally was designed to accommodate.

District officials said the cost of installing the panels would be as much as $300,000 and obviously would cut down on the cost of operating the structure. The option of transplanting a number of “fast growing” trees to the front of the building, which was considered last fall, never came to fruition because Singletree refused to share the cost of the project, district board member John McCaulley said.

None of these ideas seemed to satisfy the Singletree homeowners, who insisted the district paint the roof a more natural, nonreflective color.

While the proposal seems relatively simple, district officials said they have eliminated that option after already spending $5,000 investigating the coloring of the roof. Such a project would cost $600,000, both initially and for maintenance over the next 10 years, McCaulley said. Additionally, district officials said a new paint job would void two of the roof’s 20-year structural and coating warrantees. The manufacturer says the roof, as it is now, will dull over time, according to district officials.

The bright coloring of the roof was selected to reflect sunlight and lower energy costs, said Steve Russell, director of the recreation district. The building is certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design system and met Eagle County’s EcoBuild requirements for environmentally friendly construction. The main structure is without air conditioning, so operating it in the summer would be nearly impossible if the roof were much darker, Russell said.

The structure was approved by the Berry Creek/Miller Ranch Design Review Committee and Eagle County’s Board of County Commissioners, which regulates zoning concerns but does not have design-review ability.

Within the Berry Creek/Miller Ranch Design Guidelines is a clause that reads, “When used, metal roofs should be standing seam and be nonreflective or become nonreflective through weathering and aging process.”

Because the manufacturer claims that the roof will dull over time and because “reflective” is generally a subjective description, the project was approved by the Design Review Committee, which consisted of two representatives of the Board of County Commissioners, two representatives of the Eagle County School District and one Edwards resident appointed jointly by the county and the school district.

While all parties involved hoped the surprise meeting would open a dialog moving forward, everyone agreed the process could use some “fresh eyes” and that a new committee of some kind should be formed to reach a solution. However, recreation district officials were quick to point out that Singletree does not fall within the taxpaying district for the facility, and those constituents will remain their primary concern.

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