Crawford Avenue homes razed

Not even a pile of rubble remains at 722 Crawford Ave., where Bill Padgett's home stood for more than 50 years.

Workers contracted by the Steamboat Springs School District have spent the past two weeks demolishing and clearing Padgett's former home and another building from the 1.5-acre parcel of land adjacent to Soda Creek Elementary School.

That work continued Friday as employees of Native Excavating used front-end loaders and other heavy construction equipment to clear piles of dirt from the now-vacant property. The school district hopes the property, which it acquired through a settlement agreement with Padgett, will be leveled and free of construction equipment by the time students begin school Monday.

The district officially acquired the property at the beginning of August, almost one year after it signed the settlement agreement with Padgett. As part of the agreement, Padgett was paid more than $500,000 by the district and permitted to relocate his family home and another building if he paid for moving expenses.

Padgett said he intended to move his family home to another piece of property in Steamboat, but timing and costs prevented him from doing so. He offered the homes for free to anyone who wanted to pay for their relocation.

Because he didn't remove the buildings or have them demolished by the Aug. 1 deadline, the district will deduct demolition costs from the final settlement amount. It was unclear Friday what the demolition costs associated with removing the two structures would be, though district officials said the costs, which include asbestos removal, probably won't exceed the $56,880 the district withheld from the payment to Padgett. The settlement agreement specifically stated any costs incurred by the district for demolishing the structures would be deducted from the final payout.

District officials say the motivation behind acquiring the land is to improve student safety. The unusual traffic pattern in front of Soda Creek Elementary School and its limited area for student loading and unloading has been a concern of the district's for years.

Neither temporary nor long-term plans for the property have been finalized.

-- To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4234

or e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com

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