With an eight-month study that included multiple public outreach efforts in the rearview mirror, the Highlands Ranch Metro District board of directors took staff’s recommendation and voted to restore the historic Fly’n B House at Fly’n B Park.
Following a 5-2 show of support to renovate the building at the May work session, the board voted unanimously May 28 to appropriate $345,000 to move forward with the first phase of repairing and remodeling the 1906 home built by Matthew Plews.
The renovation of the home includes repairing the exterior of the building and the interior first floor in two phases.
Phase 1, expected to get underway in late summer or early fall, includes landscaping around the home, repairing the exterior of the building and reinforcing the interior framing. Work is expected to conclude next spring.
Phase 2, which will be voted on at a later date, includes an interior remodel of the first floor and the implementation of additional parking. The interior remodel will be designed at the time of construction, based on programming needs.
“We wanted to gather as much information and public input as we could before making a recommendation to the Metro District board of directors,” said Carrie Ward, director of parks, recreation and open space.
Through a March open house, non-scientific online survey, and multiple phone calls, letters and emails, the district heard from 155 Highlands Ranch residents.
According to Ward, 26 percent wished to see the home demolished, 18 percent of respondents desired a full historic rehabilitation of the home and 48.5 percent wanted to see the home repaired and remodeled in phases. The remainder wanted to see work done, but only on the exterior.
Board member Vicky Starkey, who initially voted against the remodel along with Nick Robinson, said she was concerned about whether there was a need for it to be done.
“There is no guarantee that anyone will ever use it,” she said. “Then it is just sitting there and maintenance and upkeep become an issue if it isn’t used.”
Ward said that the shelter in the park has been getting rented out more frequently of late and Metro District General Manager Terry Nolan also pointed out that not everyone can afford to rent out the mansion for celebrations such as weddings and this could provide a less-expensive alternative for many citizens.
“The option to repair and remodel the Fly’n B House accomplishes two goals,” Ward said. “We are able to keep the refurbished house as a significant feature of the park, and provide the opportunity to eventually create a space for programs and community uses.”
The restoration project is being funded by concurrency fees that Wind Crest Retirement Community has paid the district as part of their agreement.