Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Y proposes greenhouse addition

Idea gets compliments from Ketchum P&Z

Express Staff Writer

A proposed greenhouse addition to the YMCA would be built on the south side of the main building, next to windows that let light into the pool area. Graphic courtesy of Bliss Architecture

    The Wood River Community YMCA wants to add a greenhouse to its building in Ketchum to offer gardening classes to kids and adults.
    On Monday, representatives from the Y presented drawings of the proposed 1,000-square-foot extension to the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission. The organization needs to obtain a modification to a planned-unit-development permit that it received when the main building was constructed in 2006, as well as get design review approval.
    Commissioners said they loved the idea, but sent architect Errin Bliss back to the drawing board to redesign the addition to prevent snow from sliding off the roof over doors and walkways.
    “I think the concept’s phenomenal,” Commissioner Rich Fabiano said. “I wish somebody had done this with the original concept of the Y.”
    CEO Jason Fry said he’d like to add year-round gardening classes to the Y’s after-school program, which has 48 participants. He said he envisions class sizes of 10-15 kids or adults.
    “We’re very excited about this project,” he said.
    The 16-foot-tall greenhouse would be added to the main building’s south side off the pool area. However, there would be no direct access from the pool; rather, people would exit the building through an existing door next to the pool area and enter the greenhouse. Plans presented Monday showed doors into the greenhouse on the east and west sides, under a sloped roof. Responding to commissioners’ objections, Bliss said that perhaps the door could be moved to the south side.
    Bliss said inside lights will be turned off once classes are done, and the building will not be “glowing” at night.
    Responding to Commissioner Michael Doty’s concern that neighbors would object to a noisy mechanical system, Bliss said the greenhouse will not need cooling in the summer. Fry said the building will be heated, though its Minnesota-based manufacturer said it should stay at 40-45 degrees inside during the winter through solar heating alone.
    In an interview, Fry said the cost to build the greenhouse is estimated at $75,000-$100,000, which would be raised through donations. He said several people have expressed interest in contributing.
    Fry said he’d like to get the greenhouse built this summer or fall if the planning process and fundraising can be completed in time.
    Landscaping plans include four raised garden beds around the greenhouse.
    Commissioners told the applicants to consult with the city’s building department about snow-safety requirements before coming back with a modified version of their plans.

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