Glenwood Springs moving municipal operations as building cracks
Citing employee safety and cost effectiveness, the city will soon relocate the five departments currently housed in its Municipal Operations Center (MOC).
“The back is settling slower, the front is settling faster so it’s cracking the building in half,” Glenwood Springs Public Works Director Matthew Langhorst said of the roughly 35,000-square-foot MOC, which was constructed 18 years ago. “It’s settling and causing distress to the steel and the masonry within the building.”
Located at 2301 Wulfsohn Road, the MOC has housed the city’s Electric, Fleet, Parks, Streets and Special Works Activities Team (SWAT) Departments since 2002. Over 50 employees work out of the center, and although the facility does not pose any safety risks in its current state, city officials were concerned that should they not take action, one day it could.
“Long term it will not be safe to house employees there,” City Manager Debra Figueroa explained.
Added Langhorst, “… without a very large investment to try to stabilize the building. We found it to be more cost effective and actually better in some ways for us to relocate to other areas.”
NEGOTIATE AND RELOCATE
City Council has unanimously approved purchasing the former McCandless Truck Center located at 2222 Devereux Road for approximately $2 million.
The new purchase will house the city’s Fleet, Streets and SWAT Departments, which should move in within three months.
At the June 27 City Council meeting, councilors will likely discuss an additional property purchase for the Parks department. City staff declined to comment where that property was but confirmed the search had narrowed from 30 potential sites to that of “two or three.”
Additionally, the city’s Electric Department will eventually work out of a temporary, mobile location still on the MOC site but away from the physical structure pending further council direction.
Exactly what will become of the current MOC facility once all five departments move out remains in question.
In 2011, city employees noticed that the MOC was under settlement distress. According to a staff report, in 2013 a “…partial building grouting procedure was selected by the [city of Glenwood Springs] rather than a total underpinning system due to budgetary constraints.”
Those grouting operations were completed in 2014, and since that time the MOC has remained under a survey-monitoring program that has shown the facility continuing to move.
According to the same staff report, “After a thorough review of the information, several site visits and multiple conference calls, the final consensus is that there is no definite reason that the building is still moving.”
Langhorst said that the former McCandless Truck Center, other than a few minor improvements, was ready for the Fleet, Streets and SWAT Departments to operate out of.
“It’s inconvenient, but it gets us in a better position for the long term,” Langhorst said.
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