Friday, June 15, 2012

Interpretive Center on track for September completion

LEED certification in compliance with Hailey’s green initiatives

Express Staff Writer

Sawtooth Construction crews work on the Hailey rodeo grounds Interpretive Center Wednesday. They are on schedule to complete the project by late this summer. Photo by Roland Lane

The Hailey rodeo grounds Interpretive Center is well under way toward completion late this summer. The building will house historical exhibits to celebrate Hailey's past, and will feature green building designs that represent the city's vision for the future.

The city had been gathering memorabilia from the early days of the Sawtooth Rangers' Fourth of July Rodeo, including oral histories, photographs and riding tack. The objects will be arranged along with skating exhibits and other objects related to the rodeo grounds' storied past.

The exhibit space within the Interpretive/Visitor Center building will encompass about 700 square feet of the 1,700-square-foot building. The Hailey Chamber of Commerce will occupy the remaining space, with offices and restrooms to greet visitors coming to Hailey or to the exhibit gallery.

The Interpretive Center construction cost of $322,000 is being paid through a $3.5 million bond passed by Hailey voters two years ago to redevelop the entire rodeo grounds.

Local contractor Sawtooth Construction broke ground on the project May 3, and City Administrator Heather Dawson said it has plans to complete the project by the end of September.

The building is on track to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, in keeping with Hailey's Community Climate Challenge Program to reduce greenhouse emissions that lead to global warming. The building was designed to reduce typical water and energy usage by 20-30 percent.

In order to meet LEED certification goals, Sawtooth Construction has been working with the city and Ruscitto Latham Blanton architects to find materials that are made from recycled products, sourced regionally and are low in potentially toxic volatile organic compounds. In addition, Sawtooth Construction will be diverting half its construction waste from the landfill for recycling and using materials salvaged from other buildings.

Interior exhibits at the Interpretive Center, which were conceptually designed and authorized by the City Council, received a $50,000 boost from an anonymous donor. The city is looking for matching donations for the exhibit project, which will tie the history of the city of Hailey to rodeo in general and the Sawtooth Rangers Days of the Old West Rodeo.

In other Hailey news:

( The Hailey Skatepark will celebrate a grand opening of the expanded facilities all day on Saturday, June 23, beginning with free skate clinics and ending with bands and food and a skateboarding contest in the afternoon.

Tony Evans

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