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SUMMIT COUNTY — The U.S. Forest Service wants input on the redevelopment of its three-acre parcel in downtown Aspen, surrounded by some of the priciest real estate in the country.
According to the Forest Service, the current facilities on the site have outlived their useful life. All the buildings on have numerous and severe deferred maintenance and accessibility issues that cannot be easily corrected. Repairs and remodeling of the existing structures is neither an economic or feasible option. The agency estimates the new buildings will use about the same amount of land as the existing facilities.
The desire is for the site to continue to be compatible with the surrounding residential neighborhood and to become a center for interpretation, education and community interaction, according to a press release announcing a March 22 open house on the redevelopment.
“The Forest Service is committed to having a presence in Aspen well into the future,” said White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. “To this end, we are seeking to develop a site plan and facility design that will provide quality public service, that is readily accessible to the public and that is energy and operationally efficient.”
The ranger station is prominently located, facing Highway 82 between 7th and 8th street at the western entrance to Aspen. The comments at this stage in the process will assist the Forest Service in selecting a preferred alternative and refining the plan.
This project was kicked off in February of this year with a similar open house style meeting asking for public participation in the very preliminary stages of designing this site. The meeting was attended by about 25 interested parties. The Forest Service and the architectural design team have now created three design alternatives for the administrative parcel. The three design alternatives will be presented in an open house format. Representatives from the design team and the Forest Service will be available to discuss the project.
The Aspen Ranger Station office building was constructed nearly 70 years ago as a commercial garage/shop that was later renovated to serve as a Ranger Station. The office building is inadequately configured to meet the current and projected staffing needs of the District. In addition to the administrative offices, the Forest Service is seeking to replace the warehouse, bunkhouse and Forest Service employee housing units
Filed under: Colorado, public lands, real estate, Summit County news, US Forest Service, White River National Forest Tagged: | Aspen Colorado, Aspen Ranger district, Aspen ranger station redevelopment, Summit County News, United States Forest Service, White River National Forest