Center for Arts expansion work should gear up soon

A bit behind schedule; Music Fest looking at project for its new home

By Mark Reaman

While it has appeared quiet for weeks over at the construction site for the Crested Butte Center for the Arts expansion, that should change soon. Between the busyness of the Fourth of July and a review of some plans that took longer than anticipated, things are coming together to get into the ground in earnest.

Crested Butte community development director Michael Yerman said the town took a bit longer than normal reviewing the civil plans for the project. That plan review includes a number of items, including the engineering of the utilities, the dirt work and grading, drainage, path layout and landscaping.

“With the Fourth of July on a Tuesday, the Center was also asked to avoid work that would disturb the events that were planned for that area,” said Yerman. “It wouldn’t be that pleasant to have dust and dirt blowing around the concerts or church services over there.”

Once the civil plan is reviewed and approved, that should happen by the end of this week, the crew can begin some major digging and dirt movement.

From there, the next major approval will be the foundation permit. The full set of foundation plans with requested revisions was received by the town on Friday, July 7. Yerman said that revised submittal review is taking place now and normally takes about two weeks.

The town will look it over but also use a consulting company, Colorado Code Consultants, to take a deep look at the plans. “We should issue a foundation permit before the end of the month,” predicted Yerman.

Once they start moving utilities, probably within a week, there will be a lot of action over on the site.

Center for the Arts executive director Jenny Birnie said while the code review process has taken longer than initially expected, it is not unusual. “That review takes a lot of time but is normal. Moving the water and sewer is the next big thing and that is ready to start and will occur this week and next,” Birnie said. “After that the foundation will get laid. Everything should be lined up pretty quickly right now. It was a bit of a waiting period but we worked with the town when their crews were available. They have a lot going on this summer.”

Birnie said the delay has put the project a bit behind where they would ideally like to see it.

“I would say we are a little delayed but the goal is still to get the building open by the fall of 2018,” Birnie explained. “The next big goal is to get the roof and walls up this year before the snow flies. That’s pretty important. It all depends on what sort of weather we get this fall to stay on schedule.”

Birnie said with the recent announcement by the Biery-Witt Center to stop fundraising, the Crested Butte Center for the Arts board has been in intensive talks with the Crested Butte Music Festival. The Biery-Witt was to be the “home” of the festival in Mt. Crested Butte.

“We are in active dialogue with the Music Fest to determine their needs and whether we can meet them,” she said. “This situation has created a unique opportunity where we can talk about a true collaboration with the Crested Butte Music Festival. We are talking a lot and I think everything seems pretty positive.”

Birnie said donors are watching for progress on the expansion but the $2 million letter of credit and many pledges are in place. “I am confident we can stick to the timeline we set out. That will make everyone happy,” she concluded.

Yerman reiterated that all Board of Zoning and Architectural Review (BOZAR) approvals are completed.


(Editor’s Note: This online version has a correction to the article Center for the Arts expansion work should gear up soon that appears in this week’s printed edition. Jenny Birnie was incorrectly quoted and a sentence eliminated from the story. My apologies for the error. —Mark Reaman)

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