Minturn selects recreation center architect
MINTURN ” The Minturn Town Council selected an architect Wednesday night to design a recreation center for the town, marking an initial step in the lengthy process to construct the community building.
Four of the seven board members said they favored the Denver-based Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture firm and directed town staff to draft a contract for design of a community recreation center. The board still has to give final approval to a contract.
Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture designed Gypsum’s recreation center, which was what swayed Councilor Aggie Martinez to support the firm.
“I have seen their work in Gypsum and I’m impressed with what they did there,” Martinez said. “I think if they can do that kind of work here it’ll be helpful for this community.”
The firm also has worked on the pool in Eagle-Vail.
In addition to Martinez, councilors George Brodin and Jerry Bumgarner and Mayor Gordon “Hawkeye” Flaherty supported Barker Rinker Seacat.
The town began planning a recreation center project almost immediately after residents approved annexing 4,300 acres of land owned by developer Bobby Ginn into Minturn, said interim Town Manager Gary Suiter. The annexation approval came with more than $162 million in benefits for the town, including about $6 million for a community recreation center.
Earlier this month, the board heard presentations on the project from three different architectural firms.
Councilors Matt Scherr, Lorraine Haslee and Shelley Bellm favored the Denver firm Sink Combs Dethlefs.
Scherr and Bellm said they thought the firm was better suited to handle a small town project.
“I almost felt (Barker Rinker Seacat) was too polished and shiny and corporate,” Scherr said.
“I wasn’t terribly impressed with the Sink Combs presentation, but I was impressed with the people,” Bellm said. “I think Sink Combs would work better with us being a smaller community.”
Haslee favored Sink Combs because she thought the firm did its homework.
“He was a little more well studied on the community,” she said.
No one on the board favored the firm Ohlson Lavoie.
The first phase of the architectural contract will cost about $45,000 and will cover everything from drafting project goals and holding conceptual design meetings to recommending building and site plans and developing three-dimensional computer models of the building.
Guy Patterson, a consultant to the town who helped review the firms, said all three firms were qualified to work on the project.
“We’re not really going to fall flat choosing any of the three,” he said. “My review showed that Sink Combs Dethlefs had a better reputation of communicating with communities and following through with it.”
Suiter said he thought the town should heavily consider how each architecture firm would incorporate citizen input.
Suiter will bring a finished contract back to the board at its next meeting for final approval. Work on the project will begin as soon as the contract is finalized, Suiter said.
Staff Writer Chris Outcalt can be reached at 970-748-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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