C’dale rec plan meets ‘variety of functions’

John ColsonAspen, CO Colorado
An artist's rendering of the planned recreation and community center next to Town Hall in Carbondale. (Contributed image)

CARBONDALE The town of Carbondale will break ground March 6 on its new $4.27 million recreation and community center next to Town Hall.According to recreation director Jeff Jackel, the approximately 14,000-square-foot building is expected to be open for business by late January or early February 2008.The main component will be a 7,800-square-foot gymnasium/basketball court, with special lighting and acoustic features for what Jackel called “a variety of functions.”Other features, Jackel said, will be 1,500-sqaure-foot cardio-fitness center with workout machines and free weights; a climbing wall boasting seven different routes and varying pitches; a multipurpose room with child-care capabilities; and canopy-covered outdoor activity spaces.

Funding for the project, Jackel said, comes from $2.8 million in voter-approved revenue bonds; $775,000 from the town’s park development dedication fund; a state Department of Local Affairs grant of $500,000; and $100,000 each from the Alpine Bank and the Gates Family Foundation. The site of the facility, town-owned land just west of Town Hall along Colorado Avenue, is currently a parking lot. It has been planned as an adjunct facility to other, nearby community resources, Jackel said, such as the Thunder River Theater Company’s Black Box Theater.

The Thunder River theater, founded by director Lon Winston, is located in what has been dubbed Promenade Park, a development project across the street from Town Hall that is bisected by a brick walkway leading from Colorado Avenue southward to Main Street.The new Carbondale Recreation & Community Center, Jackel said, is seen as “complementing Lon’s facility, particularly for having conferences here, or trade shows.”He said the town’s vision is for a cooperative relationship in which the theater and the center can accommodate different aspects of some events.

Along with the Promenade Park and the rest of the Town Center development along Colorado Avenue, Jackel said, the new recreation and community center is part of a larger effort “to change the whole appearance of the downtown and make it more pedestrian friendly … more of a civic center kind of element.”Carbondale invites the public to a groundbreaking, at 4 p.m. at Town Hall, 511 Colorado Ave., and is to give attendees a chance to meet with the architects and project managers, and to view the proposed plans for the center and for Promenade Park.John Colson’s e-mail address is


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