Friends of Ski Hi Park reveal plans for new facility

The Friends of Ski Hi Park held a meeting on Sept. 4 at the Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce building to reveal new plans for a multiuse facility.

MONTE VISTA — The Friends of Ski Hi Park are pleased to announce some concept drawings for the vision of a new multiuse facility at Ski Hi Park.  “The Friends of Ski Hi” are excited about the vision of this proposed design, though we know and understand that some tweaks may still be made”, said co-chair Karla Shriver.  “The working group has met several times with the architects to come up with this design.”    The architect and contractor firms selected in an open bidding process to help the working group is Spencer Architects and ALCON Construction, both from Alamosa.  The working group includes representatives from the Friends of Ski Hi, the Monte Vista Chamber, representing user groups, the Stampede Committee, and the City of Monte Vista.  “We are working very hard to make this regional center functional and nice, and yet remain a cost-effective project,” said co-chair Karla Shriver.

After the grandstands project was completed in 2010, user groups continued to meet to discuss the vision of the multi-purpose building.  The vision included a phased process of  demolishing the swimming pool area and building a new conference area with several needs including but not limited to meeting rooms with dividers to adjust the size of the rooms, a prep and warming kitchen, bathrooms, storage, and  a large open area that could be used for recreation activities and multi-use functions.

In the fall of 2017, interested citizens Kathy (Rogers) Woods and Karla Shriver collaborated on a concept to move the renovation of the current Ski Hi multi-purpose building forward that had been in limbo for numerous years.  “It is a proven fact that projects have a higher rate of success when driven by citizens or citizen groups”, said Shriver.   Woods commented, “This is, and will, continue to be a San Luis Valley Regional Use Facility and Complex.  We envision it to continue to host social, cultural, educational and recreation events such as Stampede, the SLV Agriculture Expo, the Crane Fest, as well as, conferences and banquets that can host small, medium, and large groups in the several hundred numbers.”

The goal is to have the project completed by 2021 for the 100th Anniversary of Ski Hi Stampede.  However, planning and fundraising may take a little longer.  The group has not yet received cost estimates, but once received; the group will decipher the need to phase the project or have the capability to move forward with both the multi-use portion along with the conference center. “We will then begin our fundraising efforts,” said both Shriver and Woods, “and it will take the whole San Luis Valley to make this work.  This is for our kids, grandkids, and great grandkids just like our forefathers envisioned the current facility for us to use.”

The group has not yet received cost estimates, but once we do, the group will decide if we need to look at phasing the project in some way, or if we can move forward with both the multi-use portion along with the conference center.  “We will then begin our fundraising efforts,” said both Shriver and Woods, “and it will take the whole San Luis Valley to make this work.  This is for our kids, grandkids, and great grand kids just like our forefathers envisioned the current facility for us to use.”  The design and concept phases are being funded by a DOLA grant obtained by the City and a grant the Friends of Ski Hi obtained from a local foundation.

In the overall masterplan that was completed for the Ski Hi Complex in 2006, there was a phase in the vision for a swimming pool.  “We all want a swimming pool back in Monte Vista,” said Shriver, “However, we have to design and build this in phases as we cannot afford it all at once nor is the City set up to maintain it all right now.  We are not sure we can afford to do both the new multi-purpose/recreational portion along with the conference center at this time either.  What we do know is that is what the user group tells us we need to support current events now held at the facility.  There has been some event lost due to lack of infrastructure now at the current building.”  The difficult part is when you have a complex of this size, costs go up because of building codes, which are needed, which call for certain number of bathrooms, fire suppression, etc.  “We have to be real on what the Valley community can afford,” said Woods.

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