Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership’s project gets underway in Centennial Park

SUN photo/Ed Fincher Even before the Pagosa Springs Town Council officially awarded the contract last week, Don Ford and his crew from UCAL begin the dirt work in Centennial Park for the Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership’s growing dome project. After years of planning and hard work by countless volunteers, former Mayor Ross Aragon’s vision is finally becoming a reality. Eventually, the site will contain three 42-foot geodesic dome greenhouses that use the power of the sun and the town’s geothermal heat to showcase how renewable resources can be used to sustain year-round agricultural operations.

SUN photo/Ed Fincher
Even before the Pagosa Springs Town Council officially awarded the contract last week, Don Ford and his crew from UCAL begin the dirt work in Centennial Park for the Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership’s growing dome project. After years of planning and hard work by countless volunteers, former Mayor Ross Aragon’s vision is finally becoming a reality. Eventually, the site will contain three 42-foot geodesic dome greenhouses that use the power of the sun and the town’s geothermal heat to showcase how renewable resources can be used to sustain year-round agricultural operations.

The bids for the first phase of the Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership’s project in Centennial Park came in much lower than expected, with work on the site already underway before last Thursday’s meeting of the Pagosa Springs Town Council.

While Hart Construction offered to do the job, including all options and additions, for $442,816, Don Ford from UCAL (U-Can-Afford Landscaping) Inc., said it could be done for $380,124.

According to Town Manager Greg Schulte, the engineer’s original estimate was $448,768. The GGP (Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership) currently has $400,000 to spend on the project, along with pledges for $40,000 worth of in-kind donations.

In December 2014, the town submitted a grant application to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) for its Mineral and Energy Impact Assistance Fund on behalf of the GGP. The town asked for $301,800, but in early April it found out that it was only awarded $275,000.

Town staff immediately began working with the GGP to change the scope of the first phase of the project, to scale it down to accommodate the reduced funding.

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This story was posted on August 27, 2015.