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Granby: Soccer tent’s appearance stirs emotions

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
File photo
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Granby’s latest newly constructed edifice is being referred to as the “Big Top.”

As the soccer facility near the middle school has taken shape, some residents aren’t impressed.

Citizen Jim Glenn, who lives near the facility, said the new structure on the hill is so unlike anything else in town, it could affect nearby property values.

Views of Indian Peaks have been impeded by a white dome structure, 52 feet high, 60 yards long and 60 yards wide.

“The facility, conceptually, was to be positive for the school district, the town and the recreation districts,” Glenn said in his address to town trustees Tuesday. “My concern is, did that excitement overshadow what the building was going to look like and the end result?”

Jeff Martin of Orvis Shorefox commented on the building’s size and overwhelming presence.

“It glows in the dark,” he told trustees. “I guess if I were in a space shuttle it’d be cool, because I’d see Granby now.”

In reference to a suggestion that a follow-up on landscaping take place, Martin commented, “No amount of landscaping can hide a 52-foot building in a building zone that is 35 feet.”

Superintendent of East Grand School District Robb Rankin did not deny the building is hard to miss.

“I hope it’ll grow on you,” he told neighbors.

He compared the end result to picking out a paint sample, then after seeing on the wall, second-guessing the color decision.

In hindsight, he said, the building site plan probably should have been farther back, more out of view.

Last April, the Grand County Soccer Association provided the need and the financing to build the $600,000 indoor soccer facility in town, with property fronted by the school.

“The town or school district didn’t have that type of cash laying around,” Rankin said.

The old middle school site was offered as the facility’s location.

What has since been named Raffety Park, the site could eventually incorporate a hockey arena, tennis courts and an outdoor soccer field.

In early June, drawings were provided to the town.

Photographs of like buildings were studied, and trustees visited Steamboat and the Front Range to examine similar structures.

The building is now property of the school district and is leased back to the town.

Programming will be the charge of the Granby Recreation department.

Whatever its appearance, Rankin said it is a “great facility for community and Granby schools” ” fulfilling a need in the community for a proper sports training facility for the area’s youth.

Yet Martin had qualms about the process that led up to the town’s acceptance of the facility’s design.

In regard to town aesthetics, “You’ve gone against what this board has stood for all along,” he said told board members.

“It was a bad choice, and a bad decision,” he said, wondering how the mammoth structure got approved when “you make everybody else go through hoops, guidelines, and issues.”

Town Attorney Scott Krob explained that school buildings differ from any other buildings in town, including municipal buildings, because the state exempts schools from zoning laws in municipalities.

For neighboring residents of the soccer tent, Mayor Ted Wang offered an apology that town staff, presumably, did not supply proper notification.

“There was a significant lapse in the communication link,” he said. “The town board was assured that those communications and conversations took place, and it wasn’t until later we found out they didn’t. I recognize that’s a problem.”

The mayor’s take on the building’s appearance was also lukewarm.

“I’m not exactly pleased with its appearance either, but I recognize that form follows function,” the mayor said.

Mayor Pro-tem Ed Raffety assured citizens that once the building is utilized by young athletes, “with time … it’ll become something you can live with.”

The newly erected soccer facility is slated to open at the end of this month.

Bujanovich resigns from board

In other news, one particular trustee was missing from the boardroom table Tuesday night.

Mark Bujanovich has tendered his resignation from the Granby Board of Trustees.

In a letter dated Dec. 11, Bujanovich wrote that a transfer of ownership of his home located in town was reason to resign.

The former trustee served 3.5 years on the board as well as prior service on the planning commission board.

“I have witnessed several things take place within Granby, some incredible projects have come to fruition and I have witnessed an amazing transformation of this community for the better,” he said, naming a new Town Hall, Raffety Park, the home for a future recreation center, the Granby Police Department, “huge” annexations, and the creation of the downtown development director position.

The town plans to appoint a new trustee to fill Bujanovich’s seat until the April 1 election. Anyone interested should contact Town Hall at 887-2501. A planning commission position is also open.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail tbina@grandcountynews.com.


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