The good will generated at the groundbreaking for the community/senior center on Third Street did not extend to the council hearing Tuesday on recommended changes to the design to make it more environmentally friendly.
Modifications to the skylights and glass, installation of light tubes and substitution of metal rather than asphalt shingles for the roofing did not meet the mayor’s expectations for a more “sustainable” project — one that is less of a burden on the environment.
“I think this is a broken promise,” said Iseman, who supports a “greener” building.
Other changes approved by the council included eliminating the cedar siding for a more maintenance-free material, a switch suggested by contractors in the city.
The council also added a solar-powered backup generator to the project, to be funded by the elimination of signs touting the use of environmentally friendly design features and materials.
Previous changes to the project approved by the council in December to make the project more sustainable, albeit more expensive, included operable windows and skylights that would reduce the use of air conditioners. At the same time, the council directed staff to recommend additional beneficial design features that would add Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification points to the project.
LEED certification was not a requirement for construction, but Iseman urged an effort to qualify the project for a Silver LEED.
“I think silver is the standard the community wants to have,” Iseman said.
Certification and a silver rating are based on a point system: 26 for certification, 33 for the Silver.
The project as proposed in December had 20 points.
“Subsequently, the staff, the architects and the program manager met with the mayor and Chris Prelitz, who has experience in sustainable design and construction,” City Manager Ken Frank said. “We looked at about a dozen items and the staff and architects recommended three revisions for the project.”
The three staff and architect recommendations — all approved by the council — at an estimated cost of $40,000, were funded by about $100,000 saved in the anticipated costs of relocating four cottages from the site and the demolition of remaining structures.
Proposed changes have increased the estimated LEED points, but not to the “silver” level desired by Iseman.
The changes approved 4-0 on Tuesday will be presented to the Design Review Board and then returned to the council for approval. Councilwoman Cheryl Kinsman recused herself, citing state law that prohibits her from voting because she owns property within 500 feet of the project.