Consultants estimate repair costs at Aspen’s Centennial housing

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – Repairing leaks at Aspen’s Centennial worker housing complex and cleaning up a resulting mold problem could cost $50,000 per building for each of seven affected buildings, according to analysis of the problem conducted by city officials and outside consultants.

The Aspen City Council and Pitkin County commissioners are scheduled to discuss the problems at Centennial, a privately built housing project constructed near the base of Smuggler Mountain in 1985, during a joint meeting Tuesday.

The complex includes both rental and sale housing; the problems are apparently limited to seven buildings containing 92 sale condos, owned by local workers.

Both construction and mold experts have examined the buildings, where moisture damage was discovered in the walls last year during repairs after a pipe broke in a wall between two condos.

The Centennial Homeowners Association hired an engineering firm last year to assess the problems. Extensive demolition and reconstruction was recommended, with repair costs of an estimated $100,000 per unit, or nearly $10 million for the complex.

The city hired Boston-based Building Science Corp. and Rudd Construction to examine the buildings in June. Flashing between the roof and walls and at windows is apparently to blame for allowing moisture into the building.

Rudd estimated repairs at $30,000 per building, or about $2,300 per unit. Residents would be generally able to remain in their homes during the work, unless conditions required complete removal and replacement of wall elements, according to a memo to elected officials.

The cost of cleaning up the mold is roughly estimated at $20,000 per building, or $1,500 per unit.

The mold inspection found evidence of past mold growth in attic and crawl space areas but no live mold, though not all spaces were inspected. A consultant with National Jewish Health recommended the moisture issue be resolved before tackling the mold.

Mold air samples have not been collected within the living spaces at Centennial, but the consultant said airborne mold spore levels would probably be significantly lower within the living spaces, compared to the attic and crawl spaces.

The Centennial Homeowners Association had approached city and county officials about the need for assistance in covering the cost of repairs, but the memo to elected officials indicates the total cost per unit may be below $7,000, even with a contingency budget for unforeseen conditions. Such costs are typically shared, through reserves, special assessments or other financing – in multifamily buildings, the memo concludes.