At a glance
• Moffat County School District applied for about $2 million in Department of Local Affairs grants last month.
• The district's requests included funding for a reinforced foundation and upgraded auditorium features for a new middle school.
• The district recently amended its application after a DOLA representative said the middle school foundation project probably wouldn't be approved.
• The school district reduced its requested amount to $500,000 to pay for an upgraded roof on the new middle school.
• A $1.5 million contingency fund will pay for a reinforced foundation.
• Other projects included in the original request will be re-submitted in later grant cycles.
Timing can affect the success of grants made to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.
And, in the case of the Moffat County School District, timing made the difference, School District Finance Director Mark Rydberg said.
But, that difference didn't work in the School District's favor.
District officials recently revised a DOLA grant request made last month, Rydberg said, after they received word that one of the projects included in the grant conflicts with the agency's approval timeline.
The grant request originally totaled about $2 million. The application entailed several projects, including upgrades to the new middle school's auditorium and roof and a $900,000 reinforced foundation at the new building.
Results from a soil analysis conducted last year showed the new middle school, which will be built on the current Craig Middle School site, will require a foundation supported by piers in the ground.
District officials amended the grant request after a DOLA representative said the portion of the request addressing the foundation would probably be denied, Rydberg said.
The reason: The foundation's construction would be completed before the grant approval cycle ends in August, he said.
As a rule, DOLA chooses not to grant funds for projects that started before the approval process ends.
"You can't go back and pay down a project that's been completed," said Bret Hillberry, DOLA program specialist.
The district's DOLA representative was unavailable for comment.
District officials opted to reduce the DOLA grant request to $500,000. If approved, the grant will provide the new middle school with a 30-year, three-layer roof that includes a warranty for labor and supplies.
The district chose to continue with this grant request because it fell within DOLA's suggested maximum request, Rydberg said.
The state agency suggests applicants make grant requests for more than $500,000, said Linda Rice, DOLA public information officer.
Using funds from a $29.5 bond issue voters passed in November 2007, the district will put up a $435,000 match for the grant, Rydberg said.
The bond issue also will pay for campus upgrades across the district.
A $1.5 million contingency fund will pay for upgraded foundation costs for the new middle school.
Other projects included in the original grant request will be submitted in later grant cycles, Rydberg said.
Paying for a reinforced foundation at the new middle school was a project the district didn't foresee until this year.
Survey results showing the new middle school would require a reinforced foundation weren't available until February, Rydberg said.
"It's basically a result of timing," he said. "If we knew about the foundation in December, we would have asked then."
Bridget Manley can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org