It's official! The Estes Valley Community Center is now under construction.
The 70,000 square-foot community recreation center is envisioned as a comprehensive “multi-generational” facility that offers something for people of all ages and reﬂects the community’s vision as a premier mountain community. The new center will include a senior center area, library resources, multipurpose gymnasium with a walking and jogging track, lazy river with interactive play features and slide, group fitness room, large community room with kitchen, meeting rooms and classrooms. The community center will adjoin the existing aquatics center, which will be partially renovated in conjunction with the construction of the new facility.
The long-awaited project is the result of a successful November 3, 2015 election, in which Estes Valley Recreation and Park District (EVRPD) voters approved a pair of supporting measures – Ballot Issues 4C and 4D. Ballot Issue 4C will provide up to $200,000 annually (for a limited, 10-year duration) to augment funding available for the operation and maintenance of the community center. Ballot Issue 4D has provided over $21 million in bond-sales revenue for constructing the facility. Additional funding from Ballot Measure 1A, which Town of Estes Park voters approved in April of 2014, will also be used to offset project construction costs.
The anticipated completion date for the community center is January 2018.
The Latest Construction News
The Town of Estes Park approved the building permit for the Estes Valley Community Center on December 28, 2016 and construction moved into full gear. After a few delays thanks to Mother Nature, the concrete for the first corner of the building was poured on Friday, January 20, 2017.
Five concrete mix trucks brought in 50 yards of concrete and in less than two and a half hours, the footings on the southwest corner of the foundation and the elevator pit slab were poured.
Preparing the concrete is a pretty intricate process.
First, to prevent frost buildup, the exposed ground was covered with blankets to keep the ground dry and warm. This became an intense process during the last few weeks of December and first three weeks of January as Mother Nature did not seem to want to let up on the snowfalls and cold days. But a break in the weather came and the trucks arrived.
Another step in the process of mixing concrete is to pump micro air bubbles into the concrete mix. Since one of the ingredients of concrete is water, cured concrete needs room to expand when temperatures drop below freezing. The air bubbles allow expansion of the water to prevent cracking.
Another feature of the concrete footings is to act as the bottom "key" for the walls. The wall on the southwest corner of the community center will be the tallest and separates the upper and lower levels. After pouring the concrete, and smoothing out the mixture with trowels, a masonry worker came through with a trough to make a key way. When the wall is placed in the coming weeks, an extension on the bottom of the concrete wall will fit into the key way. This helps secure the placement of the wall.
Check back often for the latest update on the construction process.
April 27, 2017 Update
Within two months, Adolfson & Peterson Construction and their contractors finished digging, pouring and covering back up the foundation for the community center. The last pour of the footers happened in late March, and with that, the building started to go vertical. Within just a few short weeks, the shape of the building has started to become recognizable.
This photo (to the left) of the construction site, taken on March 30, shows the intital steel structure being installed just as the concerete foundation footers had been finished.
This photo (to the right) shows the concrete flooring and steel structure around what will eventually be the indoor running and walking track on the upper level.
This photo (to the left) shows the progression in just three weeks time of the steel skeleton of the community center. In the front of the photo is the lower level reception area, community room and commercial kitchen, and the taller beams to the right is the eastern wall of the gymnasium.
This photo (to the right) shows the plumbing rough-in where the extension to the aquatic center will be located. New features here include a zero-depth and wading pool, lazy river, fun and interactive water features, and pool slide. On the far end (to the west), an outdoor hot tub will be installed where members and visitors can enjoy a hot soak while enjoying the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.
Everyone wants a picture of a fire hydrant, right? Well, use this landmark to watch the progression of the building. It is a great way to see the same object in front of the changing object behind it.