Why live in Colorado? Ask any resident, native or newcomer, and they will have no shortage of great reasons. From access to recreation, job growth, vibrant communities, arts and culture support, and excellent educational opportunities, new residents and families are finding their way to our local communities every year. The evidence is also apparent from the many construction projects starting with new homes, retail and restaurants, schools and other community spaces that follow. With more people also comes the necessity for public services and first responders to keep pace with the added growth. We’ve been proud to be a trusted partner to multiple municipalities when looking to build projects that serve citizens and expand service areas.
Recently, on September 8, we celebrated breaking ground for Pueblo West Metropolitan District’s new Fire Station 2. Chief Brian Caserta reminded the community who gathered for the occasion that this project had been identified more than 10 years ago in community master planning; since then, Department annual calls have grown from 700 to over 4,000. With that kind of explosive growth, the need for a new station was paramount to help enhance response times and serve the more than 34,000 residents in Southern Colorado’s fastest growing community. Citizens voted overwhelmingly in 2019 for a 1-cent tax increase to fund this station, staffing costs, equipment upgrades and renovations for the existing Station 1. 12 new firefighters will be housed in the new Station 2 when it is completed in Summer of 2024.
With Fire Station 2 underway, we are also working in preconstruction with the City of Colorado Springs on Fire Station 24 in the rapidly expanding northeast area of the city near Interquest Parkway and Pikes Peak State College’s Rampart Range Campus. As two of our many municipal projects, Pueblo West Fire Station 2 and Fire Station 24 remind us how what we do involves more than buildings; we are providing Colorado communities the resources they need to function efficiently, empowering them to respond in our most urgent times of need.
However, bringing publicly funded projects to fruition comes with its own unique challenges. Uniting public community support and approval of funding for projects can be a slow process. Long-term planning and those projected needs for a community can rapidly change and become outdated when faced with unexpected growth or unpredictable labor markets, supply chains and economies, especially since 2020. Despite multiple challenges, throughout the years we’ve seen many hard-working public entities stay focused on their goals of providing quality spaces that will benefit their communities to the success of many new and renovated buildings. These are some of their stories that we are proud to have witnessed firsthand:
In Archuleta County, before their new facility was built, there was inadequate room for inmates. Not only did this put a strain on the staff and officers but added transportation costs when needing to move inmates for hearings or visits with loved ones. Their new facility, built in 2019, now provides ample room to accommodate Archuleta County’s growth, implementing a 360-degree detention grade roof to monitor and control the entire building. Spaces include everything from inmate housing, intake rooms, administration offices, to an enclosed vehicle sallyport for staff security. Adding secure daylighting features for all areas of the facility has been a welcome addition for the health and wellbeing of the inmates and staff.
A five-bay fire station, Durango Fire Station #3 was a phased project allowing the fire station to remain in full operation throughout construction of a two-story addition and a remodel to the existing building. Of key importance was ensuring that the building’s mechanical and air systems operated correctly to keep hazardous contaminated residue, collected from working on fires, separate from the living areas on the second floor above the fire bays.
Moving from a 2,000-square-foot portion of the town hall to a brand new 11,250-square-foot facility was a major step up for the 29-person Breckenridge Police Department in 2006 that was sized with the intention to serve the community 20-30 years in the future. This police operations center includes sustainable design features in its spaces that include administrative space, central processing, and a dispatch center. One of the biggest improvements was an evidence locker and accompanying lab which allowed detectives the ability to process fingerprints and collect evidence as well as an interview room with audio visual capabilities and video surveillance throughout the building.
Combining multiple departments and buildings together was a main priority for this new justice-focused building in Pueblo. This three-story municipal building finished in 2010 now houses three critical departments: the Pueblo Police Department, Municipal Court, and City Information and Technology. The court and police share the same building, increasing security in emergency situations. The police department occupies the majority of the building and provides an expanded office area for officers who now have their own individual desks. Additionally, the building features evidence storage, laboratory facilities, staff offices, holding cells, the 911 call center and training facilities.
The building was designed with efficiency and technology at the forefront. Whether it’s the community meeting room with a touchpad interface that controls light levels, window shades and the multimedia display, or one of the several conference rooms which all have flat screen televisions, the completed Pueblo Municipal Justice Center became one of the most technologically advanced law enforcement buildings in Colorado.
Otero County Sheriff’s Administrative Office & Detention Center
Currently in preconstruction, this phased project in La Junta will provide a new Sheriff Detention Facility and a Sheriff Administrative Facility to meet the long-term needs of the Otero County Sheriff’s detention and administrative services. With Otero County having outgrown the current facilities, the new facility will seek to expand the number of beds and also provide alternative housing options to reduce repeat offenses, helping inmates transition to independent living after their sentences. The design also provides efficiencies to help reduce the number of staff needed to run the facility due to regional shortages.
Durango-La Plata County Airport – Multi-Phase Terminal Expansion
The Durango-La Plata County Airport, or DRO as the locals call it, was built in 1988 and passenger traffic has grown 120%. With no major changes since, and the expanded security requirements of post-September 11 taking over a previous boarding gate, the improvements planned for the airport can’t come soon enough. After a property tax increase was voted down by La Plata County voters in 2016, local leaders didn’t give up and are proud of the improvements being completely funded by airport revenue streams and federal grants. By the time multiple phases of improvements are completed in the Summer of 2026, the airport will see new restrooms, new baggage claim area, a new TSA screening area, and four new gates with seating areas.
Colorado Springs Airport – ElevateCOS
With improvements and an expansion of the TSA Queuing area wrapping up, the next phase of improvements to the Colorado Springs Airport, or better known as ElevateCOS, is now underway. The concourse (post-security) area of the airport has not been touched since it was first built in 1994. Upgrades and renovations will be phased over the next three years to modernize the terminal, enhancing sustainability, accessibility, updating the infrastructure and improving passenger amenities. This project, like the work at DRO, is funded entirely through airport revenue streams and federal grants.
As the general contractor for all these projects and others in our 40-year history, Nunn is honored to be entrusted with these facilities that help ensure public safety and protect our first responders. While we grow, so does Colorado. We are committed to taking this journey together and continuing to help our communities support citizens’ needs.