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Hayden gym needs repairs

Superintendent expresses concern about costs at School Board meeting

Jack Weinstein

— Hayden School District Superintendent Greg Rockhold expressed concern to Hayden School Board members Wednesday about how to pay for middle school gymnasium repairs needed to “keep the building from falling in,” pending a report from a structural engineer who inspected it.

Rockhold’s concerns, however, were alleviated when he received the report Friday, which indicated the gym needed only minimal repairs. The letter from Luke Studer, of Studer Engineering, stated, “it appears the area around the man door on the west side of the storage area is in danger of collapse.”

“We believe the areas of concern can be stabilized to maintain stability and safety for the near term (for a few years) in a manner that would not be expensive but also would not be cosmetically pleasing,” the report stated.

Other issues with the gym included cracks in the masonry walls and moisture in the crawlspace under the storage area on the south end of the building that may have contributed to the movement in the walls, but didn’t need immediate repairs, the letter stated.

The gym will be closed until the repairs to the door are made. Rockhold said that might not happen by the time the school year begins in August, but he’s hopeful.

Rockhold said Friday that the district would be able to pay for the gym repairs, but added that the district’s finances were tight because of declining revenue.

“We’re holding our own, but we’re trimming out some smaller items,” Rockhold said about the 2009-10 budget. “Quite a few items were cut.”

He said budgets for each individual school were cut 15 percent and that the district isn’t spending like it has in years past.

Rockhold said losing more than $100,000 in mineral lease funds hurt, but the district received about $43,000 in forestry funds, which was provided by state statute. And it received a more than $20,000 emergency grant from the Colorado Department of Education to replace the elementary school’s fire alarm system.

The district received $10,000 from the Education Fund Board to replace the system’s control panel but was later told by the state fire marshal it had to replace the entire system at a total cost of $30,000. He told board members Wednesday that because the district was given the emergency grant from the state, it didn’t have to dip into district funds.

Without replacing the system, students wouldn’t have been allowed inside the school.

Rockhold will travel to Durango on Wednesday to request $500,000 from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs Energy and Mineral Impact Assistant Fund to switch the high school’s administrative offices with the library. He said the move would make the building safer.

With $60 million in requests and only $23 million in the fund, Rockhold said there will be competition for the impact funds. And without the grant funding, the project will be delayed.

He said Hayden is a small rural district with lots of needs that will have to find ways to fund.

“I’m not concerned. I’m an optimist,” he said. “The district is doing OK. We just have to watch what we spend, and we’ll make budget.”


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