The city of Aspen is exploring an estimated $37 million project between now and 2019 that could potentially solve Aspen Police Department and municipal office-space needs.
In a comprehensive space-needs study of city departments, officials have identified a shortfall of about 50,000 square feet in downtown-core operations, 15,000 of which accounts for a new facility for the Police Department, which is expected to vacate its Pitkin County space on Main Street by early 2018. The future of City Hall and various city departments also is in flux.
A memorandum from Aspen’s Capital Assets Department details four options for the Aspen City Council to consider Tuesday during a work session.
The first Municipal Facility Master Plan option would mean a two-story addition to City Hall as well as a 15,000-square-foot police facility and a 13,300-square-foot city building both constructed at the Zupancis property, a small parcel of land next to the county’s Courthouse Plaza building on Main Street.
The second option is to forgo the City Hall addition while building a 43,300-square-foot city building and 15,000-square-foot police facility at Zupancis. City Hall uses would be reduced to mayor, City Council, city manager and their closest entities. All other functions would be located at Zupancis.
A third option is to build a new 63,000-square-foot City Hall at Zupancis, allowing all entities to operate under one roof.
“It would be one-stop shopping for our customers,” the memo states. “This scenario represents the easiest option logistically as we can build the building and then move the operation in. This solution is also the most economical as we would address most of our downtown needs in one major project.”
The fourth scenario, which is offered as a side note in the memo, is that instead of using the Zupancis lot, the city uses the Galena Plaza building. The cost would be increased due to groundwater issues and structural tie-in issues with the existing parking garage.
“Council may feel these expenses are worth it to activate the plaza area with a civic campus,” the memo states.
Budget analysis shows that the design for the Police Department would cost $1.7 million, while construction, scheduled for 2016-18, is estimated at $9.5 million. Design for the city buildings comes in at $3.9 million, while construction, scheduled for 2016-19, is estimated at $22 million.