Friday, June 1, 2012

Old gas building coming down

Posted By on Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Colorado Springs urban renewal
  • The city wants to tear down this building.

Finally, after years of abuse, the building at 25 Cimino Drive will be put out of its misery, at a cost to the city of $250,000 to $400,000.

Where the money is coming from isn't clear; the city allots only $50,000 a year to demolition of dangerous buildings, such as the one at 1726 W. Colorado Ave. featured in this week's Independent.

We asked City Council President Scott Hente, a member of the Urban Renewal Authority, where the money is coming from. He replied, "That's a great question," and said he'd look into it.

We also put in a call to the city's communications office. City spokeswoman Cindy Aubrey replied via e-mail: "I called [chief of Economic Vitality and Innovation] Steve Cox and he told me that the City budgeted (2012) for the demolition. He said the building was no longer usable, had asbestos and was a public hazard. He also said that the City had been planning this for awhile. Steve said if you had more questions that you could call him..."

We tried but couldn't reach Cox.

The request for proposals was issued today to demolish the building formerly used by Colorado Springs Utilities, and then by Cottonwood Artists School (now known as Cottonwood Center for the Arts, and located at 427 E. Colorado Ave.). The brick structure sits on the edge of the Southwest Downtown Urban Renewal Area. It's owned by the city, which still owes Colorado Springs Utilities $3.3 million for the building as part of a land swap that involved the building years ago.

We told you about how the city contributed to the building's demise in a report, "Completely trashed," that ran Nov. 18, 2010.

Colorado Springs Utilities gas building
  • In 2010, the interior of the building wasn't a pretty sight.

Proposals, due June 29, will be given a higher score if contractors can get the job done quickly. From the RFP:

Firms that can clearly demonstrate through their progress schedule that they can complete the project in a short period of time will be scored higher during the evaluation process.
It is the City’s intention to have this project completed no later than Fall of 2012. Firms should plan to start work within 10 days after issuance of Notice to Proceed which is estimated to be sometime in July/August 2012.

Here's the RFP's comment on the cost:

The City has budgetary limits and considers the range or magnitude of this project to be $250,000 - $400,000. Offerors should consider all costs associated with the abatement and demolition of this facility in their cost proposals and keep in mind that even though this is not a low bid solicitation, firms that submit cost proposals which exceed budgetary limits, may receive a lower evaluation score in the cost area than firms that are within the budgetary limits.

“Best Value” does not necessarily mean “Best Price” or “Best Qualified”. It means the firm who is evaluated using the criteria above that has demonstrated their ability to meet all of the requirements of this Request for Proposal in a manner that is most beneficial to the City of Colorado Springs.

Bidders are asked to propose costs and a plan to demolish the building and abate asbestos. But it doesn't sound like the contract will cover the underlying contamination from coal tar in the soils resulting from decades of use by utilities. The RFP says:

Walsh Environmental Scientists and Engineers, LLC. (WALSH) conducted an asbestos inspection from May 5 through June 1, 2009 and sub-slab soil investigation from October 23-24, 2011 at the former Gas Administration Building located at 25 Cimino Drive/101 Conejos in Colorado Springs,
Colorado. The purpose of these investigations was to define a scope of work for removal of
asbestos-containing materials (ACM) from the building and to address sub-surface soil
contamination management during demolition of the structure. The scope of work for this project
includes removal of asbestos-containing and hazardous materials from the building and demolition
of the structure on the Site.

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