New plans linked at the lavatory in Avon
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AVON — The idea is guests will stroll down the town’s new pedestrian mall, stop at a cafe and proceed on with their coffee, enjoying art as they go.
In that case, town officials and staff say some nice, clean, public bathrooms along that walk are in order.
On a tour of the new pedestrian mall, currently approaching completion between Avon Road and the Avon Recreation Center, Mayor Pro Tem Jennie Fancher said Monday that the town’s plans for a remodel of the Skier Building at 140 Mikaela Way must include a plan for expanded, public-use bathrooms in the building.
The Town Council passed a plan to purchase the building for $3.2 million on Oct. 14 with the intent to relocate town hall there.
“The (new) town hall is full of possibilities, but one primary function will be to provide restrooms for the public who are walking along the mall on a daily basis, coming to our events,” Fancher said. “We plan on having a number of different functions on the mall throughout the year. The first big one, of course, will be (the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships), where we’ll be having Apres Avon along the mall.”
KEEPING AN EYE ON COSTS
While the building is mainly a shell, there are currently two single-person-use bathrooms near a door facing the mall on the ground floor. But the remodel should change that to accommodate more, Fancher said.
A $2.5 million project, the remodel will be watched closely by town officials to ensure no cost estimate mistakes are made, council members insisted at their last meeting.
“I’d love to see the cost of the cushions and the infrastructure and the carpets line for line, because I’m nervous now, because of this stage overrun,” said councilman Jake Wolf, in reference to the town’s pavilion project currently underway at Nottingham Park.
Wolf is a member of the pavilion project committee, and he watched in horror recently as that project’s cost ballooned from $1 million to nearly $4 million.
“The pavilion wasn’t a cost overrun, it was always that much,” said town manager Virginia Egger. “Our architect didn’t share that with us.”
To avoid a similar mistake in the future, Egger suggested a competitive request for the proposal process be initiated when hiring the architect on the town hall remodel, a step which wasn’t taken on the pavilion project.
Council member Chris Evans agreed and suggested the town also require the architect to hire a professional estimating firm to provide cost estimates during the design phase.
A discussion of the town hall remodel has been scheduled for the council’s Tuesday meeting.
POLICE DEPARTMENT WON’T MOVE
Offices would be located on the new town hall building’s third floor, offering town staff picturesque views of nearby Beaver Creek Mountain. The second floor would also be used as office space, Egger said, and the bottom floor would offer direct access to public bathrooms from a door near the bathrooms that faces the mall. The bathroom corridor would be able to be blocked off from the rest of the building for public use on nights and weekends.
Council chambers and public meeting space would also be located on the bottom floor.
The current town hall building will continue to be used by the Avon Police Department, for now.
“I think that the next council, one of the things they’ll do is determine, over time, without being in a hurry, is what’s the highest and best use for this building, given the market environment,” Mayor Rich Carroll said. “Who knows what that could be?”