What will be the hours of deconstruction?
Construction noise is only allowed between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on any day per Boulder Revised Code 5-9-3(2). Light construction work is allowed between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. and would consist of work that does not require power tools or heavy equipment such as painting, cleaning up the worksite, or working with hand tools other than hammers. At this time, work will be limited to weekdays. However, this may change in the future.
What was the decision-making process to deconstruct the hospital?
Following analysis of potential reuse of the hospital, City Council determined that reuse of the site would not be cost-effective or meet the goals of the site related to the Alpine-Balsam Vision Plan. Further information on this council decision can be found in the November 2018 memo.
Which buildings on the site will be reused?
In total, the city plans to reuse nearly half of the existing square footage on the Alpine Balsam site. The buildings selected for reuse or adaptive reuse are concrete structures and represent more than half of embodied carbon (the amount of greenhouse gases emmitted to construct buildings) of the buildings on the site.
The city conducted a high-level embodied carbon analysis of the Medical Pavilion, which illustrated that reuse of the pavilion results in the lowest carbon impact. Also, last year, the city completed renovation of another building on the site, the Brenton Building, taking it from one of the least efficient buildings in the city to one of the most efficient. The existing parking structure will also be reused.
Why can't the hospital building be reused?
The rest of the BCH hospital has had several additions over the years that were to serve the internal needs and functions of the hospital. The building today sprawls the site, more than two-thirds of the 260,000 sq. ft. is in the basement and first level, where there is little to no access to natural daylight. The building does not provide a strong relationship to the street or surrounding community and its aesthetic design quality is unremarkable. Reuse of the hospital, whether interim or long-term would entail abatement and interior deconstruction. The reuse would primarily be of the exterior, which is not itself architecturally distinctive. This coupled with extensive physical limitations would make meeting new regulatory requirements cost- and time-prohibitive.
Wouldn't it be more environmentally friendly to reuse the hospital building?
The hospital building is a steel structure, which has a significantly lower level of embodied carbon (the amount of greenhouse gases emmitted to construct buildings) than the concrete structures that are being preserved. Meanwhile, it is an extremely poor performing building from an energy standpoint, resulting in more than 7,000 metric tons of carbon emissions. The hospital building also presents some significant challenges for reuse because of its design and the amount of materials present that would require remediation. To reuse the building, bring it up to current city code and ensure the safety of any future use, the building would have to be gutted, and the same level of environmental remediation would need to occur as is planned for deconstruction of the building.
Based on these factors, our overall climate goals will be better met through construction of new, highly efficient structures on the site, rather than trying to work with the design elements of the existing structure, which are not conducive to achieving the programmatic or a high-performance goals for future development on this site. We are taking a careful inventory of the building components and fixtures and will reuse as many materials as possible during the deconstruction.
How and when will the city investigate the site's soil?
The city and its contractors will follow all environmental requirements at the federal and state level. Part of these requirements will require investigating materials that could be in the soil. The city will first assess and survey soils before a clean up plan is developed and only if one is required. The timeline to assess the soils has not yet been determined.
Has any environmental testing been done at the site?
Three reports were completed in 2015:
Learn about City Council's role in the decision to move forward on the acquisition of the Boulder Community Hospital campus.
6/16/2015: City Council Study Session
City Council Agenda item first discussing the Boulder Community Hospital option. The Boulder Civic Area team sought direction from Council Members on whether the City of Boulder should submit a bid to acquire the BCH site on Broadway and Balsam. Council Members advised staff to submit an initial offer by the June 30th deadline.
7/14/2015: City Council Special Session
This special session of the Boulder City Council was called on short notice to allow Council Members to vote to approve the acquisition of the BCH site at Broadway and Balsam.
The Executive Summary and the Boulder Municipal Property Authority Agenda contain information on the Issuance of Certificates of Participation.
8/27/2015: City Council Special Session
Discussion of Boulder Community Health Phase I Environmental Assessment at beginning of Boulder City Council Special Session. Members gave the City Attorney the authority to negotiate a extension with Boulder Community Health on the $3 million earnest money deadline. The city needs the additional time to complete environmental assessments at the BCH campus site. This extension does NOT effect the timetable to complete the purchase transaction by mid-December.
9/15/2015: City Council Meeting
The Boulder City Council authorized the sale of up to $41 million in certificates of participation to use toward the final purchase of the Boulder Community Health/Broadway Campus purchase and redevelopment.
11/15/2016: City Council Meeting
This memo provided an update on the Alpine Balsam project and related projects, highlighting their inter-relationships and timing, and council feedback on key findings, recommendations and planned next steps for the remainder of 2016 and 2017.