Zoo’s Grizzly Grill part of contractors’ move to ‘boutique’

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The Grizzly Grill at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is scheduled to open next spring.

The Grizzly Grill at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is scheduled to open next spring.

Some of the area’s general contractors are adding boutique projects to their broader portfolio of office and retail buildings, high-rise multifamily, correctional facilities and schools.

Here’s a brief look at two interesting projects in the works.

Zoo to add Grizzly Grill

J.E. Dunn Construction just broke ground on the Grizzly Grill, a 4,900-square-foot dining facility at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

Designed by CSNA Architects, the Grizzly Grill’s exterior features stone and wood surfaces to merge architecturally with the adjacent buildings and exhibits. The grill will provide zoo visitors an expanded dining menu and extended indoor/outdoor seating within a modern facility. The $968,000 project is scheduled for completion next spring.

Dunn’s Colorado Springs office has worked with the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo since 2001. The firm’s most recent project was the 24,925-square-foot African Rift Valley, which included a giraffe holding building, safari lodge and view tower.

Museum just the beginning

Colarelli Construction Co. has been awarded the second phase of a million dollar remodel and expansion of the Durango Discovery Museum.

The project will include renovation of two buildings and the creation of a river-facing public plaza around an historic smokestack. Once completed, the facility will encompass an interactive science center, labs, workshops and offices.

In a story that appeared last week in the Durango Herald, the museum’s construction committee cited Colarelli’s reputation, experience with similar projects, use of local subcontractors and labor, and substantial in-kind commitments as key reasons for the choice. The facility is scheduled to re-open late next year.

The Colorado Springs-based firm was selected from 10 proposals, and as of Oct.1 had opened an office in Durango.

“The museum is a very involved project, only a portion of which is construction-related. We’re developing community support and resources and have already helped raise $150,000,” said owner Vince Colarelli, adding that his company is working with the local corrections department and a youth justice center to provide a way for kids to give back to the community.

“It’s a very neat, progressive town, and we’ve been fortunate to be considered for another six or seven community projects as a result of working on the museum,” he said. “And we’re now working with Sandia Labs on a new exhibit. We’ve even been asked to completely re-do all the downtown sidewalks and have become acquainted with most of the merchants.”

Energy-saving, sustainable strategies have become a repeating theme for Colarelli.

“We just finished a 32 kilowatt installation for Colorado Springs Health Partners’ new building, and are working on both a geothermal and another solar array project,” he said. “In Durango, we’re also working with a local renewable power generation firm to develop a PPA — a power purchase agreement — to help fund installation of a renewable power system.”

The 48-employee company has no plans to relocate its operation to the Western Slope, but the work just seems to keep coming.

“We had several clients who wanted us to work in that area, so we started looking at a community where we could be a vested partner,” he said.

Becky Hurley covers real estate for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.