A little snow and a muddy lot was not about to stop Northglenn from celebrating a project that began 16 years ago. City and construction officials kicked off the 18-month project to build the …
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A little snow and a muddy lot was not about to stop Northglenn from celebrating a project that began 16 years ago.
City and construction officials kicked off the 18-month project to build the city’s new recreation and senior center and theater complex.
“As you can see, it takes a lot of people to pull something like this off and to get to ground breaking,” said Dave Hammel, principal architect at Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture, the designers of the project.
Members of the city’s recreation taskforce joined city officials, designers and the public Oct. 28 in a white tent in the middle of the construction site, just south east of Northglenn City Hall. City Communications Director Diane Wilson said there was never a fear that people wouldn’t show up to the ground breaking, despite the 26 degree temperature and snow covered, muddy ground from the previous day’s snowstorm.
“We looked at the weather, and then we said ‘We’ll have cider. They’ll come,’“ said city Communications Director Diana Wilson. ”We knew all along that there have been a lot of people who really cared about it and we knew they’d come.”
Work crews began moving dirt and erecting fences around Northglenn city hall in September, preparing the area for construction of Northglenn’s new $53 million civic center. The construction zone includes the grassy area between City Hall and the current recreation center and the parking area between City Hall and Interstate 25. Pedestrian access to the I-25 underpass near 120th Avenue will be maintained throughout the project.
Plans call for putting the new recreation center along the eastern edge of the civic center site, between the current City Hall and parking area on the east and Interstate 25 on the west.
It will feature a 320-seat theater, a senior center, a preschool area, indoor basketball courts and swimming complex with a lap pool and a leisure pool. For more information about the center, visit the city’s website at www.northglenn.org/newreccenter.
But architect Hammel said the project has been the works since 2003, when Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, owner of numerous sports teams like the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche, the Colorado Rapids and Mammoth, considered building a facility in Northglenn.
“They wanted us to do a conceptual design that was going to sit in this exact spot,” Hammel said.
Kroenke pulled out and the conceptual designs were shelved until the City of Northglenn approached the designers about upgrading Northglenn’s recreation center with an addition. That plan, too, was shelved before it got out of the conceptual phase.
The city began considering what it would take to replace the recreation center in 2007, and the architects created a feasibility study. Voters turned that down, however, and the concept was left alone until 2017. That’s when the city created a master plan to redevelop the entire area.
“We developed the plan, which turned into this current project,” Hammel said.
City Councilors approved an overall site plan for a new community recreation center, senior center and expanded theater in April 2018. It’s the first phase of a multi-year revamp for the area that will ultimately bring in a new City Hall, retail and housing to the area.
The recreation center, performing arts theater and senior center is expected to open in 2021.
Work on the second phase would continue through 2028. A third phase, which involves tearing down the current City Hall and putting in more parking and residential development, would come after that.
Police operations moved to the new Justice Center last year and the current City Hall will stay through construction of the new recreation center. The current recreation center site could be open for private development, when the replacement comes online.
The new construction is estimated to cost $53 million, including $13 million for site development and infrastructure work. The bulk of that would be paid with money from the city’s marijuana tax revenues and sales taxes.
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