Move to cost West Center just 1 day
June 1 opening set at BV after weekend relocation

       If you blink, you might miss it.
       After 15 years in building space attached to West Middle School, the West Intergenerational Center is scheduled to move to its new location two blocks away between Friday, May 29 and Sunday, May 31.
       “We're trying to keep from having any downtime at all,” said E.D. Rucker, director of the community center. “No major reconstruction work is needed. We can move in and go to work. There's nothing to hinder us from doing our programs.”
       The new site is the one-story, westernmost building of what has been for the last 98 years Buena Vista Elementary, a public school in District 11. As part of a district- wide educational revamping, the school has been closed and its property title handed over to the City of Colorado Springs through its Parks Department.
       The actual address listed for the center will be 1628 W. Bijou St.
       Moving trucks are expected to begin moving materials and equipment the morning of May 29.
       According to Rucker, the only program that should be affected by the move - and that's just for one day - will be the daily senior lunches. They will not be provided May 29, but will start back up Monday, June 1 at Buena Vista, he said. “We've made it a focus not to disrupt that,” he said.
       Otherwise, at this time, the center is essentially between program cycles. The starting dates of summer adult and older adult programs/classes could have been affected, but through advance planning those were delayed a week later in June, with the earliest scheduled start being the women's basketball class June 15.
       Although the center can open without them, building upgrades are planned later this summer, including air conditioning and the creation of a reception area, Rucker said.
       But this shouldn't impede center activities. Because of Buena Vista's greater space (13,000 square feet, compared to 7,500 square feet at West), staff can relocate within the building as needed for any work to take place, Rucker explained.
       The improvements will be chiefly funded with $225,000 that District 11 gave the city as part of the property transfer deal.
       Also moving from the West site will be the Community Action Agency. It will set up in the easternmost building.
       Regarding parking, the new site will have the current school staff parking lot, but it will probably be too far away (at the eastern end of the property, off 16th Street) for people to use it much, Rucker said. This is similar to the present location at 25 N. 20th St., where there's a faraway lot but people generally park along 20th or Kiowa streets. Such practices haven't triggered complaints in that area, but Rucker said he hopes to meet with the Buena Vista-area neighbors to address any concerns they might have in theirs.
       The school district needed to move the West Center out to make room for the new Westside Elementary that will open in part of the middle school building for the school year starting in August. Remodeling will be required in what's now the center to create classrooms, an elementary cafeteria and a front office, according to Mike Maloney of District 11 Facilities. He added that the schedule calls for work to start June 1 by Colarelli Construction, a Colorado Springs firm that's been hired as the main contractor.

Westside Pioneer article