Throwing out options

School board to move forward on facilities improvement question


The Moffat County School District board decided Thursday evening to move forward with an architecture and construction firm, which is recommending $36 million in facilities improvements.

In October, the Denver-based-company Neenan Archistruction presented the board with recommended improvements, including:

- maintenance

- compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act standards

- educational program deficiencies/needs

- air conditioning

Following several finance and facilities committee meetings since the October presentation, the board decided Thursday to proceed with the company, which will assist the board with preparing a bond issue for the November election.

MCSD Superintendent Pete Bergmann and Assistant Super--intendent Joel Sheridan presented several possibilities for ways to break the proposal up to ask voters for some or all of the recommendations.

The possibilities included adding all-day kindergarten, demolishing Craig Intermediate School, building a new Craig Middle School and adding onto the elementary schools to make them K-5 facilities.

The board also could decide to ask just for funds to remodel the buildings.

"What bothers me is we're talking about fixing rooms built in 1948 and not looking toward the future," Sheridan said. "If we're building classrooms, we're building them for 2034, and that's pretty futuristic to me. "

Bergmann said the board needs to gauge -- perhaps with a springtime community telephone survey -- how large of a bond voters will support.

"Will the community accept building toward the future?" Bergmann said. "That'll be the board's toughest challenge."

Neenan's next step is working with the board to prioritize maintenance goals and select an education model -- which grades will be at which schools -- in February.

In March, Neenan will begin the collaborative design process to nail down the specifics of the bond inclusions.

The school board meets again at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 20 for a special meeting to further discuss facilities improvements. The next regular meeting is at 4 p.m. Feb. 27.

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