Students board a long line of busses at Steamboat Springs Middle School in 2013.

Students board a long line of busses at Steamboat Springs Middle School in 2013. |

Group pushing back timeline for Steamboat Springs school facilities recommendations

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— A group working to make recommendations for the future of the Steamboat Springs School District will need to push back its timeline for bringing suggestions for facilities upgrades to the school board.

The Community Committee for Education, or CC4E, previously planned to present final recommendations to the board in March, but members told the board Monday that recommendations would come later.

The group is currently holding focus groups with community members to review five facilities options, or “pathways,” before holding larger community forums.

“Time is becoming our least available asset,” said board member Roger Good. “There’s lots of work to do after a decision is made, and I’m concerned about time.”

The committee has indicated repeatedly it is aiming to make recommendations that could be funded through a 2017 ballot initiative.

Good said he is seeking multiple facilities options from CC4E, not a single recommendation.

“I encourage the committee to keep the pathways broad, because the board needs to make some of those calls,” Good said.

Among the options first presented by a CC4E facilities task force in November are pathways that include new school construction, renovations and additions to existing campuses and creative solutions that would involve reconfiguring grade levels at each campus.

CC4E chair Bette Vandahl said as part of the committee’s focus groups, members are gathering feedback concerning how the community would feel about a bond and one or more mill levies presented separately on the ballot versus one larger bond to cover facilities upgrades, associated increased operating costs and deferred maintenance.

Vandahl told board members that CC4E had been working as an 18-member volunteer group for nearly a year now.

She said two members of the committee, Steamboat Springs planning director Tyler Gibbs and Routt County planning director Chad Phillips, had stepped down from the committee, but the remaining members continued to work together and share diverse opinions.

CC4E's next meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday at the district office boardroom, 325 Seventh St., and is open to the public.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

Comments

Scott Wedel 2 weeks, 2 days ago

I strongly suggest that any recommendations remain grounded in the professional demographic analysis. I don't want to see any amateur attempt at extending a 5 year projection into a 10+ year projections.

I also think any projection needs to consider the impact of growth in the number of out of district students. It is regionally unsustainable for SSSD to take more and more students from neighboring districts.

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Russell scott 2 weeks, 2 days ago

“Time is becoming our least available asset,” said board member Roger Good. “There’s lots of work to do after a decision is made, and I’m concerned about time.”

I share Roger's concerns. It takes a whole lot of time to get support from the community. Plus, I can't imagine as time passes that the costs for facilities and maintenance will go down.

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Eric Morris 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Russell, when the Yellen Crash occurs prices will come down again. Interesting that the two paid government planners quit. Teresa, please ask them why. Thank you.

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Ken Mauldin 2 weeks, 2 days ago

While I appreciate and respect everyone that volunteers time to our local efforts, the CC4E Committee should have presented a variety of recommendations to the Board by now.

The inability of the CC4E Committee to present timely recommendations is harmful and presents a risk to our District.

There is no time to select a more capable committee. So, please, get serious and complete the work. We're all relying on you.

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Scott Wedel 2 weeks, 1 day ago

As for risks to district, any construction is going to take years. Meanwhile, they are continuing to allow number of out of district students to increase.

I am not demanding that OOD students be eliminated, but I think it makes no sense to claim overcrowding or of "risks" while allowing OOD enrollment to increase.

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Russell scott 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Ken, I totally agree with your comments.

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Scott Wedel 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Well, they made such a mess of what was publicly presented as a limited list of viable options that they are now trying to present options that are better justified and can withstand questioning. It will do no good if CC4E has a substantial number of members saying wrong options were selected.

Nor has school board handled the issues on their plate related to determine facilities needs. The issue of increasing out of district enrollment into schools claimed to be overcrowded has not been addressed by the school board. I cannot find another school district claiming overcrowding and still accepting out of district students. It is from other Colorado schools that greatly limit or have eliminated out of district students that a far more restrictive policy is allowed under Colorado law.

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