Thorp Proposes New Idea To EVRPD
By: Gary Hazelton
At the Tuesday, March 17, 2009 Estes Valley Rec and Park Board meeting, local resident and business owner Roger Thorp issued a proposal for utilizing the existing former elementary school building for community needs. Roger and his wife Verlene have lived in Estes Park for 33 years and there is obviously sentimental attachment to the old building where their two grown sons went to school and where Verlene volunteered.
This building brought one of the very first architectural jobs received by Thorp in 1976 with his new architecture firm, Thorp and Associates P.C. He did the architectural planning for adding non-load bearing partitions to be installed in the building.
Roger believes this old building can be saved and brought up to modern standards for approximately half the cost of the proposed community center building design that voters narrowly rejected last election.
Roger approached Stan Gengler, Executive Director of EVRPD, months ago with his idea and Stan recommended Roger present his initial ideas to the board. Absorbing all costs for a feasibility study, Roger joined with Gary Constant of GH Phipps, a highly accredited community building construction company with many accomplishments in sustainable building standards in Colorado.
Their proposal utilizes the present building structure with needed improvements to all doorways, mechanical, electrical, lighting and insulation aspects as well as updating all restrooms to ADA standards. The new proposal includes the needed areas that were addressed in the previous community center proposal such as a day care center, storage for performing arts, and a youth center, which could be in the old cafeteria. The gym would remain the same except for removal of the stage for an office area. The existing pool locker area would also need to be brought up to ADA standards.
Matching all of the needs addressed in last year’s proposed community center that was not voted for, this existing structure offers the same 43,000 square footage required and also includes possible additional space for future growth.
The proposal actually includes a new indoor splash pool area with fun tube waterslides and a zero entry pool. This would be located between the present gym and pool building with the removal of the room which used to be used for a day care center. The present 113 parking spaces could be expanded to 180. And, if a part of the structure were removed even more parking could be available. Additionally, much of the labor could be done with a local work force. Board directors thanked Roger Thorp and Gary Constant for their presentation and said they will consider this proposal.