The Evergreen Park and Recreation District board has decided to go forward with a proposed $150,000 bare-bones building at Buchanan Park that is more storage-oriented than office-oriented, at least for now.
The initial concept for the building included three enclosed offices for park operations personnel until board member Roger Hoaglund raised questions about the proposed office space, which he felt was unnecessary and could be located somewhere else.
“Take out everything that isn’t vehicle-related and truly make it a storage space,” Hoaglund said. “The people who need private offices are only the ones who have direct reports. There’s a lot of shuffling we can do before we start building offices. I’d reorient the people first and put this thing back into its original intent.”
The district board held a regular meeting at 6 p.m. May 26 at the Buchanan Park Rec Center. Allan Casey, Kit Darrow, Janet Heck Doyle, Peter Eggers and Hoaglund were present.
“I’m sure we could spend many hours moving things around,” Darrow said. “I’m sure you worked with an architect. I see the layout as being (executive director John Skeel’s) responsibility,” she said.
Skeel defended the office space component. “A major component of the reorganization plan was putting similar jobs together,” Skeel said. “(Park operations director) Pat (Shea) and (athletics coordinator) Brent (Berninger) can coordinate on a daily basis.”
Eggers said he was worried about the visual impact of the large, shed-like, A-shaped building in the park and also questioned the need for new office space.
Doyle suggested a compromise: Build in the office space but make it temporary so the space could be converted to something else. “I’m in favor of having people together,” she said.
However, Hoaglund countered: “It’s not that hard to get together at different locations and communicate by e-mail and telephone.”
Eggers noted there are other park-owned rental buildings that could be used for other purposes in the future. “The rental income from housing is secondary to using them as park assets,” Eggers said.
Instead of enclosed offices and future storage expansion, the board favored a large open office area, which could easily be turned into garage space.
The existing design of the “Park Operations Facility, Phase 1” shows 1,293 square feet of vehicle storage and four offices in 935 square feet. A break room, bathroom and shower are also included.
The main action of the evening was the unanimous board decision on a motion to expand the height of the proposed storage facility and redesign it to accommodate more than two large vehicles in the future. The board assigned Skeel to make the changes and start work on the construction drawings, with the goal of getting the project finished this year.
Audience member Dave Underwood suggested that the board redefine the facility as a “park operations office and maintenance facility,” since he calculated that 40 percent of the proposed space was designated office.
The board voted 3-2 in favor of re-electing Allan Casey over Kit Darrow to be president for a second one-year term. Peter Eggers was elected treasurer in a 3-2 vote.
Janet Heck Doyle was elected secretary, Kit Darrow was voted first vice president, and Roger Hoaglund became second vice president in unanimous votes.
The board recently revised its bylaws so that officer elections would be once a year instead of every other year.
Contact Vicky Gits at 303-350-1042 or email@example.com.
Executive session called
The board closed the public part of the meeting and held an executive session beginning about 9 p.m. for what it described as “purchase, acquisition lease, transfer, or sale of any real personal or other property interest,” and “to determine positions relative to matters that may be subject to negotiations; developing strategy for negotiations; and/or instructing negotiators.”
Recently it came to light that the board was in negotiations to purchase 2 acres known as the Bullock property in Buchanan Park, reportedly for about $1 million, but the deal fell apart. The nature of the secret real estate discussion on May 26 was not disclosed. The Canyon Courier asked for a more specific description of the purpose of the meeting, in accordance with the Colorado Open Meetings Law. But board president Allan Casey declined to be more forthcoming.
Casey’s reply to the Canyon Courier was as follows: “As in the past, and I believe may be customary when a Special District is considering a potential real estate acquisition, it potentially creates a disadvantage to the district to disclose the specific piece of property that is the subject of the potential acquisition, especially when only in the very preliminary stages … Disclosing such specifics may serve to unduly advantage the seller or may serve to motivate other potential buyers that could pre-empt any potential action of the district causing the district to fail to meet its desired object.”