Durango, CO: The City of Durango and the Durango Fire Protection District have officially swapped keys in a building exchange between the River City Hall, located at 1235 Camino del Rio, and the former Durango School District 9-R property, located at 201 E. 12th St.
Durango city council approved the property exchange this past summer after a year-long negotiation period.
“This comes at the end of some really good, honest, tough negotiations between both parties,” said City Manager José Madrigal. “I believe both sides are getting good values considering the scale of the projects, and this agreement meets the public’s desire to keep a fire station downtown as well as preserve a historic building that is one of downtown’s gems.”
River city Hall will be torn down and rebuilt to fit the needs of the fire district and the community. The former 9-R property is planned to be used as a City Civic Center. Part of the exchange includes the city paying $3.6 million to the fire district due to the difference in property values.
The fire district serves an area of approximately 325 square miles and has needed an updated facility downtown for decades, said retiring Fire Chief Hal Doughty. “This agreement is critical for us to be able to provide emergency services for a growing community,” he said. “For the fire district, this is an opportunity to replace an unsafe, and outdated workplace for our firefighters and medics. It’s a great example of different agencies collaborating and finding the most effective, cost-efficient way to provide services to our Durango residents.”
The school district occupies the property, but has announced recently that it has purchased a space in the lower level of Columbine Center in Bodo Park, located at 281 Sawyer Drive, Suite 100.
The former 9-R property was built in 1916 and served as Durango’s only high school until 1976, when it became the District Administrative Office. The school district will be moving out of the historic property toward the end of its school year and will be hosting a “107 Years of Education” public party in May with a curated artifact display to celebrate the history of the building.
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