Letter: No need to build more
Why would the city of Aspen build a new 55,000-square-foot City Hall? After all, the city needs only about 37,000 square feet of offices and already owns or controls over 60,000 square feet it can presently use for offices. The city has almost 40 percent more space than it needs, so why build a massive City Hall on our public open space at Galena Plaza? Just so the staff doesn’t have to walk a few yards to another office at the Armory? This is insane. We don’t need a massive City Hall at one location when we have so many other locations throughout town for city offices.
I understand city employees would like to have more modern working conditions, but I wouldn’t build a huge, new house and then give away the house I now have. This is what the city is doing with the old Powerhouse and Armory buildings. The city should remodel the existing Armory for offices and use the Powerhouse for offices, as well. This is what any sensible person would do: remodel what you have first or sell the house you have before you build a new one.
Just because the city of Aspen is spending residents’ money is no excuse to spend recklessly. When city staff and architects said they wanted to build a new City Hall, the City Council should have said, “If you want to build 55,000 square feet, then tell us the 55,000 square feet the city owns now that you propose to sell.” Obviously, the city owns more than enough space right now without building more!