by Tara Walker
Reilly Johnson Architects gave a Needs Assessment Update to the Grand County Commissioners with options addressing the future Public Safety building in Hot Sulphur Springs and future EMS/Health and Human Services building. Commissioners reiterated that the Public Safety building is a priority and would remain in Hot Sulphur Springs with two options being considered, a location next to the current Judicial building or a 6-acre property near Hwy 40 in Hot Sulphur Springs.
Commissioner Cimino said, “We have not excluded the site near the judicial center, but not everything fits there and we are considering everything. We have no intention of having the public safety facility being anywhere other than Hot Sulphur Springs.”
East Grand School District is developing a Master Plan to address student needs and growth. A decision is likely in mid-May and if the district decides to build a new elementary school and vacate Granby Elementary school, the property could possibly be used by the county.
Bob Jones with Reilly Johnson Architects analyzed Granby Elementary school as a possible solution to house EMS, Public Health and Human Services. Bob Jones addressed concerns about the building, “It is in pretty good shape. I don’t want to see structural cracks or settlement and heaving so I visited Granby Elementary and there is no evidence of structural movement and no concerns that the building is falling down. It is in very good shape. The biggest concern is that exterior windows are not best for conserving energy.”
Jones showed maps and plans showing that Granby Elementary could easily meet all needs for EMS, Public Health and Human Services and would even have extra space for the nonprofit needs that have been mentioned in previous BOCC meetings. Jones explained that the gym could even be left for the community and that the parking is adequate.
The Preliminary schedule given by Reilly Johnson Architects show that if the plan moves forward, EGSD could have ballot questions in 2019/20 and complete the new elementary school by 2022. The County could then make changes needed and be using the building by spring or summer of 2023. Possible cost estimates are $18,820,100 for 48,392 square feet (excluding gymnasium) .
Another option is buying the Whitmer Building in Hot Sulphur Springs off Grand Avenue and Highway 40. Remodeling the building is highly recommended and many changes would be needed. There is less square footage to work with and there are concerns that the space might not fit the needs of Health and Human Services and there would be no room for nonprofits. The estimated costs (excluding property purchase costs which are unknown) would be$2,426,200 for 4,213 square feet.
Commissioners agreed that public safety is the main priority with jail projected to be completed by 2021. In February, commissioners stated that they did not want to combine health and human services with public safety, but would consider combining EMS with Public Safety. The current plans being considered to work towards those previously discussed goals.