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Michael Scherer, with Accent Electrical Services, digs a trench for conduit at the Broomfield Community Center on Friday, April 10, 2020. (Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer)
Michael Scherer, with Accent Electrical Services, digs a trench for conduit at the Broomfield Community Center on Friday, April 10, 2020. (Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer)

Broomfield City Council this week approved more than $500,000 in funding for furniture, playground equipment and installation of the playground as part of the ongoing Broomfield Community Center reconstruction project.

The Wednesday night vote, which was unanimous, authorized spending $358,023 with IE Connect LLC for the furniture and $168,404 with A to Z Recreation, Inc. for playground equipment, a shade structure, installation and surfacing.

Overall the reconstruction of the Community Center will cost $48 million. In May 2017, Council approved $80 million in major capital improvement projects, half of which was for the new Community and Senior Center and the other $40 million for improvements on Dillon Road from Zuni Street to U.S. 287.

In January 2018, Broomfield hired Adolfson & Peterson Construction for the reconstruction of the center built in 1974 and remodeled in 1991.   Construction on the new Community Center began Aug. 22, 2018 with a projected 24-month schedule.

Director of Recreation Services Clay Shuck on Wednesday said construction is on schedule and the second, and current phase, of construction is expected to be done by mid-July. Furniture delivery is expected to be in late June.

Construction supervisor Dan Rabon said crews are now in the “beginning stages of the finish,” meaning the building is being fully enclosed and workers are readying to painting the first coats and finishing ceilings.

Crews fluctuate from about 70 to 100 workers, half of which work outside on things like paving the parking lot and finishing curbs and sidewalks. Social distancing is being observed and hand-washing stations have been set up throughout the building to protect workers during the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to Rabon.

Joe Kent, with Associated Pool Inc., carries sheets of plywood while working at the Broomfield Community Center on Friday, April 10, 2020. (Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer)

Early occupancy of the south half of the building, including the kitchen, is scheduled for July.

Phase three is demolition of the existing senior center and remaining site work, Shuck said.

The playground for which funding was approved will overlook Brunner Reservoir behind the building. It will not be open to the public, but instead will be for the Community Center’s preschool program, Shuck said. In addition to preschool, the building also will house a drop-in child care program for patrons of the center.

The furniture to be purchased includes fitness, aquatics, building maintenance, woodshop and art equipment, and kitchen items that do not require mechanical, electrical or plumbing connections.

During Wednesday’s meeting, which was held electronically, Shuck said existing Senior Center programs will be the first to transition to the new space in mid to late-July. Among those moving in first will be including essential operations such as Meals on Wheels and Easy Ride, which have continued to serve vulnerable populations despite Broomfield shuttering other offices in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The pool and fitness and gym areas are slated to open in late August or September, he said, but that could be delayed by Council in light of the pandemic.

Council also approved facility rental rates, which can be seen in the agenda memo. New rates are needed because the new center will have higher overhead costs, including staffing, programming and utilities and services, according to the memo. The overall budget for the new facility will be about $1.4 million more than the prior center, according to the memo.

June 2014 was the last time rental fee were increased, according to the memo. Surveys of local facilities were completed to set rates comparable to other sites in the area.

“We are trying to bring those rental rates in line with the surrounding communities and in line with the upgraded amenities of the new facility,” according to the memo.

The overall percentage difference between resident and non-resident rates was set at 150% to ensure Broomfield is providing the facilities to local residents first, but not pricing the facility out of the market for non-residents.

The rate for the Lakeshore Room, which used to be rented for $530 to residents for events that did not include alcohol, will now cost $2,000, according to the new rate schedule.

Ward 4 Councilwoman Kimberly Groom pointed out the price is more than quadruple the old one.

Shuck said the old rate structure included a basic rental fee and then additional fees for other event needs such as forkitchen setup. In the new facility, rentals will be sold as a package of a six-hour room rate, supervisors and sound system. The kitchen fee will still be separate.

Ward 2 Councilwoman Sharon Tessier said she thinks the new rates are a “little high,” but on Wednesday was willing to have a later conversation with staff to better understand the new rates and why Broomfield is not considering a gradual increase.

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