The landscaping and design around the new administration building for the sewer plant will draw people down to the Durango Whitewater Park, consultants promised the Durango City Council Tuesday.
“It’s really a formalization of the entrance to that Whitewater Park,” Mayor Dean Brookie observed.
The administration building will be between 10 to 15 percent of the cost of the $58 million plant, said Patrick Radabaugh, a consultant for the city.
Voters approved the debt for the plant in November, after the City Council made the controversial decision to remodel the plant next to Santa Rita Park. Consultants estimated it would cost tens of millions more to move the plant downstream.
The architecture for the new plant will be based on designs chosen for the two-story administration building, which will be next to the Santa Rita parking lot and the Animas River Trail.
Consultants showed council three options for the building’s exterior and for the landscaping in front of the building Tuesday. These will be on display during an open house Wednesday.
All three options include glass, muted concrete and stone building materials, which seemed popular with councilors. The designs also show a terrace space on the roof where plants will be grown.
“I think you are headed in the right direction,” Brookie said.
Public restrooms will be part of the building and accessed through exterior doors on the side of the building.
Terraced park-like landscaping is also planned that will lead down to the Animas River.
One landscape option favors rock to reflect the Animas River. Another option favors more green open space, and the last heavily favors concrete.
“I think it’s fair to say the majority of folks were interested in extending the park aesthetic up to the building,” said Billy Gregg, a landscape architect with StudioCPG.
The building will house Utilities Department offices, a lab and a room to monitor the city’s water and sewer systems, among other rooms.
The consultants also hope to incorporate monitors so that people touring the facility will be able to see what the technicians are working on, said Utilities Director Steve Salka.
“This is a learning facility as well,” he said.
The consultants have met with city representatives and citizen stakeholders three times since January to work on designs, and they plan to return for two more meetings to help refine the designs. The designs for the sewer plant are expected to be finished in late 2016, with construction slated to start in 2017.