Residents like plans for new town hall | VailDaily.com

Residents like plans for new town hall

VAIL, Colorado – With many of the big questions apparently answered about redevelopment of Vail’s municipal building complex it’s time to start asking and answering the small ones.

Town of Vail officials Monday hosted an open house for the public to start asking questions, and weigh in on some preliminary designs and drawings for the new municipal building. That building will be constructed at the same time a consortium including Vail Valley Medical Center, the Steadman Clinic and the Steadman Philippon Research Foundation will build a medical office building on western end of the property.

Although the buildings will look like one big complex, the medical building and town hall are actually two projects linked by a few surface parking spaces and a public plaza.

Sherry Dorward recently got the job of designing that plaza, and is excited by the prospect of putting something besides just concrete between the buildings. But, she said, doing that will require designers and architects to work together.

While putting a sod roof atop a building like the Vail Public Library is pretty straightforward, Dorward said putting a plaza that includes trees will take some planning, since even a small tree will need a three-foot hole in the ground.

Dorward said she’s also already heard comments from the public and members of the Vail Planning and Environmental Commission about the plaza.

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“The word ‘icon’ kept coming up,” Dorward said.

Dominic Mauriello is part of the team for the municipal building. He said he’s already heard specific questions about the project, from parking to how the building will be wired for technology.

While the professionals listened, residents talked. Vail resident John Goode was at the open house to learn more about the project, and said he likes what he’s seen so far.

Goode and his wife moved to Vail about a decade ago, just as the “Vail Renaissance” was starting. He said he misses some of the town’s old haunts, but has been impressed with what’s followed.

“I think this looks great – Vail’s always updating old stuff with something better,” he said of the municipal building designs.

Joe Staufer has been in Vail just about as long as the place has existed. He said he was impressed with what he saw Monday. Staufer said he’s especially pleased about the medical office building plan.

“It’s important to our economic survival,” Staufer said. “I think it’s great.”

Fellow resident Connie Woodberry agreed, saying the plan “is a real opportunity to something meaningful, to set Vail apart from everyone else.”

While the reviews Monday were generally favorable, there’s still a lot of work to do on the plans before construction starts in May of next year.

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or smiller@vaildaily.com.