David Ulrich: The status of the Yampa Building
As part of my ongoing effort to communicate facts surrounding the Yampa Building at 775 Yampa Ave., I want the community to know that on Thursday, September 26, the Moffat County School District Board of Education reviewed suggestions submitted by community members for the use of the building. The board also received an update on the fair market value of the building from Mr. Bob Stevens of Stevens Real Estate Services.
As readers may remember, the Yampa Building was deemed to be more marketable and easier to repurpose than the East building; therefore, the Yampa Building was vacated and the offices were relocated to the East building. While the first opportunity to transfer ownership of the Yampa Building to Moffat County fell through, the BOE is committed to exploring every opportunity for the district to work with our local government entities to keep the Yampa Building in the public domain. The board’s commitment has been demonstrated through a community question-and-answer session in July as well as a virtual suggestion box on the district’s website.
At the September Board of Education meeting, members received an overview of each of the suggestions that were submitted. Generally, the submissions fell into three categories. First, some community members said the school district should have an appraiser determine the fair market value and “offer the asset to the highest offer.” Another theme was for the district to find an alternate use for the building. Examples included using the building for a hunting hall of fame, give the building to Colorado Northwestern Community College to use as an art space, or utilize the building for other tourist attractions. The final strand was for the board of education to move slowly. One patron wrote, “There is no real rush here,” and, “please continue your progress in public involvement and board transparency. It appears you are on the right track with the community.”
During the meeting, the board also received an update from Bob Stevens about the fair market value of the Yampa Building. According to Mr. Stevens, it is difficult to provide a specific number until he, as the appraiser, knows how the space will be used. Consistent with his comments in November of 2018, Mr. Stevens continued to assert that the value of the building to the community exceeds its actual market value. In the meantime, he encouraged the board of education to re-engage our local similar taxing entities to find a creative use for the building.
Based on the community’s suggestions as well as Mr. Stevens, I have advised the board of education that I will reach out again to the county and the city to see what, if any, creative solutions can be found for the Yampa Building. I am confident this space can be repurposed to serve Craig and Moffat County for many years. I encourage community members to continue to provide suggestions. Online suggestions can be submitted through the district’s website at moffatsd.org. Suggestions can also be submitted in person at the MCSD Early Childhood Education and Administrative Supports Building at 600 Texas Avenue. On behalf of the board of education, I would like to thank all the community members who have engaged in this process.