Moffat County School District proposing bond issue for 2020 ballot to help improve facilities
In an effort to help fund facility upgrades, Moffat County School District is preparing to ask taxpayers for a bond request on the 2020 ballot later this year.
Following the completion of its 11-month facilities assessment, which showed more than $99.6 million in capital improvement needs, the MCSD Board of Education is moving forward with prioritizing its most urgent projects in hopes of getting another generation — 25 to 30 years — out of its school buildings. Through that prioritization process, those projects will ultimately result in a bond issue, which will lead to the district asking voters to consider a ballot initiative later this year, according to MCSD Superintendent David Ulrich.
“Those bond numbers won’t be out until early June, so I don’t want to throw any type of numbers out there just yet,” Ulrich said. “Right now though, we’re currently working on submitting BEST grant applications at this time.”
BEST grants are competitive grants paid for by marijuana tax money revenue that goes to school districts for capital needs. BEST funds can be used for the construction of new schools as well as general construction and renovation of existing school facility systems and structures.
According to Ulrich, BEST funds that were provided to MCSD previously are already paying for half of Sunset Elementary School’s new roof.
“We’re putting in for grants, and if we get them, we’ll have to have matching funds,” Ulrich said. “If we get the grants but are unable to raise the matching funds through a bond, the money will go to another district. Our hope is that winning at least one BEST grant will allow us to lower the amount we need from taxpayers.”
The last time MCSD asked voters for a bond was 2007, according to previous Craig Press reporting.
In the facilities assessment study, the school district found that it has significant roof needs across the district. According to Ulrich, a future bond will prioritize moisture mitigation, asbestos abatement, and safety and security deficiencies.
“When you about getting another generation out of our buildings, these are the projects we must tackle,” Ulrich said. “Where safety and security are concerned, our schools are safe, but they could be safer. Just one of our district facilities was built post-Columbine; that’s pretty astonishing, considering the major changes in safety standards in a post-Columbine environment.”
Ulrich added that the master plan calls for refreshing interior finishes.
“Carpeting at the high school, which was built in 1981, has never been replaced,” Ulrich said. “Classrooms need to be painted, and there are places where the ceiling needs to be replaced, too.”
According to Ulrich, the school district hopes that the full, 300-page facility needs report will be on the school district’s website at moffatsd.org by Feb. 14.