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A Golden year in review

From major construction projects to new faces in town, the city of Golden experienced some newsworthy events to remember. Here is a look at a few the Golden Transcript finds most prominent.

USA Pro Challenge

World-class cyclists — and thousands of spectators —came to Golden in droves to witness the 2015 USA Pro Challenge on Aug. 23.

The men’s race began in Steamboat Aug. 17 and had seven stages in different cities and towns. Stage 7, the final day on Aug. 23, started in Golden and ended in Denver.

But the race was special this year because it was the inaugural year for the women’s race.

The women’s race had three stages, with the last being a criterium race in downtown Golden on Aug. 23.

Golden has been a part of the USA Pro Challenge since its inaugural race in 2011, with the exception of 2013, the only year the race did not come to Golden either as a host city or pass-through city.

In addition to the excitement of witnessing pro cyclists in action, some local residents were host families to the women pros. It was a terrific experience for the Goldenites, and the pros appreciated the hometown hospitality they were provided.

Death of ‘Heinie’ Foss

The Golden community lost one of its legendary people with the death of Frederick A. “Heinie” Foss on May 21.

Foss, born on Oct. 7, 1917, was raised in Golden and graduated from Golden High School in 1935.

Known to be a mentor for small businesses among his friends and colleagues, Foss took over the family business, Foss General Store, which began as a small drug store founded in 1913, and eventually expanded it to 40,000 square feet with three floors.

Foss was often fondly referred to as Mr. Golden for his participation in community affairs. Foss established and helped fund the Golden Civic Foundation, served as a member of the Golden City Council, was on the board of the Chamber of Commerce for 14 years, was a substantial supporter of the Christian Action Guild, past president of the Golden Kiwanis Club and a member of the Golden Masonic Lodge for more than 50 years.

A statue called “Lending a Helping Hand” is located on the southwest corner of 13th and Washington in downtown Golden, which was commissioned to recognize the contributions Foss and his late wife, Barbara, made to the community.

New Golden City Manager

After two decades of serving the City of Golden, Mike Bestor’s last day of work as city manager was July 28.

Bestor, 70, retired after holding the position for 21 years. Jason Slowinski, a man from Lake Zurich, Ill. replaced Bestor in the fall.

City officials and community members point to Bestor’s integrity, vision, professionalism and ability to work with others as the foundation of Golden’s growth and success in financial and resource stability, and economic and community development.

“In my opinion,” said Marv Kay, mayor of Golden when Bestor was hired in December 1993, “we’ve had the best city manager in the state of Colorado for the past 20 years.”

During the candidacy process for a new city manager, Golden Mayor Marjorie Sloan said it was “one of the most important decisions council has made (in) two decades.”

However, Slowinski stood out as a caring leader, and that he “did his homework” on Golden’s values and vision, Sloan said.

Great year for School of Mines athletics

The athletics department at the Colorado School of Mines made headlines a couple of times this year.

The brand-new $24 million Marv Kay Stadium hosted its first football game on Sept. 5. The 60,730-square-foot, state-of-the-art stadium houses football and men’s and women’s track-and-field and cross-country athletes. It boasts 130 lockers in the home locker room, seven meeting rooms and classrooms equipped with smart technology, 14 racks in the weight room and a seating capacity for 4,090 fans.

The stadium is named after Goldenite Marv Kay, who has a long-standing history with the school, including former head coach and former director of athletics.

Mines athletes also made major news when the mens cross-country team brought home the school’s first national championship title in Oredigger history on Nov. 21.

Seven of the team’s 28 athletes beat out 32 other schools at the NCAA Division II national cross-country meet, which took place in Joplin, Missouri.

“This is Mines history,” athletic director David Hansburg said. “They are the first to do it. They will always be the first, and I hope they carry that pride with them for the rest of their lives.”

Community mosaic

Golden’s Urban Renewal Authority’s large mosaic banner displayed on the CoorsTek building, near Ninth Street and Washington Avenue, was completed in 2015.

Golden artist Jesse Crock donated his painting of the North and South Table Mountains for the template of the vinyl banner, which is comprised of community photos sent in from Golden’s residents.

The ideas was to provide a grand entrance into Golden for those heading into the downtown area from Washington Avenue, said Elyse Dinnocenzo, planning intern at GURA who is managed the project.

Arapahoe Street future under discussion

The Calvary Episcopal Church submitted an application to the City of Golden proposing to close a portion of Arapahoe Street between 13th and 14th streets to all motorized vehicles, creating a one block pedestrian thoroughfare in front of Calvary Church and the Armory building. The intention is to create a pedestrian and plaza space that would serve the needs of the church’s planned campus environment, as well as create amenities, such as seating and landscaping, that is open to the public and establishes a better pedestrian link between the Colorado School of Mines to the south and downtown, and Clear Creek to the north.

Discussion on the topic was brought up to Golden’s city council on Dec. 10, but the church’s representative requested the decision be postponed because of feasibility with creating required parking outlined in the plan.

Council granted the postponement request, and the issue will be brought up again on March 10.

Locals organize to help Nepal

The Golden community banded together after the April 25 earthquake in Nepal.

Of the 11 districts in the country affected by the April 25 7.8-magnitude temblor, one of the hardest hit was the Khumbu Valley, located near the base of Mount Everest in the Himalayas. The area is home to Chaurikharka, the school where local business-owner and Goldenite Lhakpa Sherpa earned his high school diploma in 1992.

Fundraising efforts have been in effect since the earthquake. And on Dec. 26, 11 Colorado School of Mines students headed to Nepal to help rebuild the school, which was destroyed from the quake.

The students will work hand-in-hand with the local Nepalese people through Sherpa’s nonprofit organization, Hike for Help. They will return to Golden on Jan. 5.

The school rebuild project has an estimated cost of $700,000, and is expected to be completed in two years.

Montessori School of Golden closes

After 35 years of operation, the Montessori School of Golden closed its doors May 27 because owner Debby Selitrennikoff decided to retire.

The school started with 13 students in early fall of 1980 when it opened at St. Joseph Catholic Parish on Ulysses Street in Golden. In 1989, Selitrennikoff bought the old Barber House near Seventh and Cheyenne streets. After some renovation, including new additions, the school opened in March 1990.

The school was such a success it grew to more than 100 students, and was “packed full” for about 17 years, Selitrennikoff said.

Community member Julie Dionigi attributes both of her sons’ success to the early learning they received at the Montessori school.

Selitrennikoff “restored that old building,” Dionigi said, “and filled it with laughter, love and promise for the future.”

Skate Park to flip a 180

Golden’s skaters are thrilled to be getting a new, state-of-the-art skating facility at Ulysses Park.

The original skate park at Ulysses Park, which is near South Golden Road, was cutting-edge when it opened in 1992. And although the skate park continues to be a popular amenity, it is not used to the degree it was in the past, said Rod Tarullo, the city’s director of parks, recreation and golf.

It all began when Colorado School of Mines students used a redesign of Ulysses Park as an undergraduate assignment, and presented to Golden City Council in 2014.

In fall 2014, council approved funds for a new skate park in the 2015 budget, and in July, Golden City Council awarded an $800,000 contract to Team Pain to redesign the skate park into a state-of-the-art facility. And at a Sept. 24 city council meeting, all seven council members gave a thumbs-up approval of Team Pain’s conceptual design.

The city closed the old skate park on Nov. 16, and it was demolished in early December. Construction of the new park is scheduled for early 2016.

Astor House renovation underway

The Astor House Museum in downtown Golden closed its doors Sept. 8 to undergo a major rehabilitation and preservation project.

Cost of the project is nearly a half-million dollars. It will include some construction reinterpretation projects. The reinterpretation projects will provide new, interactive and immersive features for visitors.

History Colorado, through the State Historical Fund, awarded Golden History Museums a $200,000 grant in 2015 for the Astor House. The grant was matched dollar-for-dollar by the city of Golden.

The project is expected to continue into 2017, with a goal to reopen before the summer season of that year. The Astor House will be celebrating its 150th year in 2017. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is Colorado’s oldest stone hotel.

Progress on the Astor House construction and rehabilitation can be followed at www.GoldenHistory.org/AstorHouse.

Article source: http://goldentranscript.net/stories/A-Golden-year-in-review,204393