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With "yes" vote, Aspen armory group moves forward with plans

Nov 4, 2015

Now that the electorate narrowly approved using Aspen City Hall for “community use” in the future, a group is moving forward with plans to return the building to its roots. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

The Armory Community Center group cheered Tuesday when about 1400 voters marked the “community use” option on their ballots. The advisory vote won by just 86 votes.

City council put the question to voters ahead of plans to consolidate city offices. In Tuesday’s vote, residents indicated they would prefer city staff move out of City Hall to free up the building for a community center. Up until the 1950s, it was the “armory building” - used as a roller rink, political rallying space and more.

Developer Bruce Etkin is behind the effort to draw up plans for the space. He’s committed $100,000 toward the effort. He says the vote is heartening.

"It propels us forward. It gives us a standing and more importantly, it gives us an opportunity to work with the entire community, to listen to their wants.”

Next, his group will research how much it’ll cost to renovate the building and look at funding sources. City council still needs to approve a community use, though it’s given initial support. The council is scheduled to discuss the vote on November 16th.