Scott Rollert planned to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his College Time Shop on March 6, 2020. And possibly the 31st the following year.
“Up until yesterday, I thought it was two to three years out,” Rollert said Tuesday morning, after learning that the schedule was derailed by changed plans for a hockey arena that Colorado College is building on the southern edge of its campus.
The CC Board of Trustees unanimously approved changes to Robson Arena in mid-February, college officials announced late Monday, March 11.
The board decided to:
• Move the arena site to the northern part of the block between Nevada Avenue and Tejon Street, Cache la Poudre and Dale streets.
• Erect a 300- to 350-space, three-story parking garage south of the arena, which will accommodate up to 3,650 people.
• Start razing the entire block after school ends in May, demolishing Colorado College’s campus safety office, campus print shop and 3-D Arts Classroom and Workshop; an old Whitney Electric building and Leech Pit building; the B-Side Collective, which makes music more accessible to students and the community; and a former hotel that’s now the CC Inn, which houses 62 students.
• Tear down the historic brick building that houses Rollert’s watch repair shop and the popular Wooglin’s Deli at the end of this year rather than after Robson Arena opens in 2021.
The changes also caught Wooglin’s Deli owner Kelvin Thorne off guard. But now he’ll lease space for his popular eatery — which features house-made sandwiches, quiches, salads and more — in the new arena, with a separate outside entrance.
“So we’ll be operating like we do now,” he said Tuesday. “We’re an institution for the college. To give us the opportunity to go into the new building is amazing. It’s kind of a win-win for us.”
The problem is what he’ll do between the demolition late this year of his funky space and the arena opening a few years later.
“It’s the gap we were hoping to avoid,” Thorne said. “It just got dropped on me.”
He said some of his 20 employees have been on the staff since he bought the deli nearly 20 years ago. So he’ll look for temporary alternatives, such as launching a food truck, and welcomes ideas and opportunities from community members.
For 29 years, Rollert has fixed broken watches in his 200-square-foot storefront at 829 N. Tejon St.
The building started life in the early 1900s as Mowry Creamery Co., which later was sold to the parent company of Meadow Gold Dairies.
Colorado College bought the building in 1977 and tore down part of it to build a parking lot.
The building has housed the College Pharmacy, Criterium Bicycles, the Colorado Running Co., BB Bean Coffee Roasters, College Shoe Shop, a beauty shop, a consignment store and other establishments.
Paul Brown, a former Fort Carson soldier who sips coffee every morning at a table outside Wooglin’s, said it will be sad to see the building and businesses go.
“I enjoy sitting outside year-round and talking to folks,” he said. “There’s a lot of regulars, and we’re really going to miss Wooglin’s. I know what they’re doing is progress, which isn’t always good.”
Rollert said he isn’t sure if he’ll relocate his business. Watch repair isn’t as lucrative as it once was, and overhead likely would be higher at a new spot. While he didn’t plan to retire this year, he said, it might be his only option.
“My truck is on auto pilot. I put the key in, and it drives here,” Rollert said. “We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”
After the buildings are removed and the site prepared, construction on the new arena for the private liberal arts school’s Division 1 ice hockey program will start next year, said Chris Coulter, Colorado College’s associate vice president of facilities.
“The change is exciting because it will address a number of (parking) concerns that were brought forth from the neighborhood and provide a great connection to Colorado College,” said Chris Lieber, principal at NES, the project architect and land planner.