Letter: Rubey remodel: What’s the point? | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Rubey remodel: What’s the point?

Rubey remodel: What’s the point?

The headline on Wednesday’s Aspen Times read, “Rubey Park remodel cost: $4-$5 million.” Headline in same day’s Aspen Daily News read, “Council comfortable with remodel plan for Rubey Park.” What a strange trajectory that this idea, and maybe the transit system it is a part of, is traveling.

I remember when Nick Dewolf, bless his hairy self, proposed that a system of net-cams be located along Highway 82 that would allow commuters to see if there were back-ups on their way to and from Aspen and then take an alternate route. When someone pointed out that there were no alternate routes, he observed that the questioner was missing the point. We never did find out what that point was.

When the idea of replacing the present Rubey Park structure came up a few weeks ago, I figured that this would be another process of government and some concerned citizens exploring options like: “How can we make things better?”, “What if we …?”, and “What if we started from scratch?”

Studies would be produced, meetings would happen, goals would be identified, and the idea would be catalogued for the future. But this thing seems to have legs!

So let me understand, even before the concrete and paint have dried on the $46 million bus rapid transit system, the powers that be have determined that the Rubey Park structure, the terminus of the service whose primary and ultimate goal is the conservation of natural resources, namely fossil fuels, needs to be replaced with a more appropriate structure. I suspect that the people driving this idea have lost sight of the point.

City and county governmental agencies have spent years writing, reviewing, adopting and enforcing hundreds of codes, all in an effort to make this valley as carbon neutral and energy efficient as possible. We have a governmental appointee whose sole purpose is to try to make us all do good environmentally. So the same groups that are supposedly guided by this “E” credo are ready to spend a whole bunch of BTUs and scrape a perfectly serviceable public building, transport it to the dump and then spend a whole bunch more BTUs to build a new one. Anyone remember what the point is?

So my question is: Has anyone involved with this idea asked, “Should we be tearing down a building that is less than 28 years old (I was here when it was built)and spending $4 to $5 million because the existing structure has some functional and circulation issues, and could be bigger, and needs new bathrooms? Has any real effort been put into an idea that renovates and reconfigures the existing building and adjacent loading areas? Since this is my background, I would love to take a shot at it for a reasonable fee.

Please don’t lose sight of the point.

David Panico


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