Moffat County School District submits BEST grants for building upgrades |

Moffat County School District submits BEST grants for building upgrades

In an effort to get another generation out of the current buildings within the school district, Moffat County School District moved forward with three BEST grant applications Monday afternoon.

The school district recently had TreanorHL come in put together a facilities assessment. 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, which they deemed to be moisture mitigation, safety and security, and asbestos abatement.

“With the exception of Craig Middle School, which is only 10 years old, the average age of schools in our district is 49 years old. The experts who assessed our schools found them well maintained despite their age, which is a tremendous tribute to our maintenance and facilities staff,” Superintendent David Ulrich said. “However, the master plan assessment found that most of our schools require upgrades, replacements, and re-investments related to asbestos removal, safety and security, and moisture mitigation. On February 24, the district submitted three Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) grants that, if awarded, will help fund these critical projects.”

During the Feb. 20 workshop with TreanorHL before the start of the school board meeting, the company worked through their assessment with the Board of Education.

In the presentation, TreanorHL highlighted the three most urgent projects.

The safety and security project is the largest BEST grant application for MCSD at $12.2 million, focusing on the following efforts:
• Secure entry vestibule for Sandrock Elementary School
• Exterior door security upgrades for all schools in the district aside from CMS
• Card access security for all schools
• Fire alarm system updates in all schools
• Updates to building communication systems, such as the PA, intercom, telephones and clocks
• Improvements to student drop-off areas at Sandrock and Ridgeview Elementary
• Pedestrian safety, adding snow melt systems at Sunset Elementary and the district administration building, formerly East Elementary School

With moisture mitigation, MCSD submitted an $11.2 million grant, which would help fund the following projects:
• Roof replacement for Moffat County High School and the district administration building
• Wall repair and protection for Maybell Elementary, Sunset and MCHS
• Window repair and replacement for MCHS, Ridgeview, Sunset, and the administration building
• Drainage improvements to move water away from the building and the foundation at MCHS, Sandrock, Sunset, Ridgeview, and the administration building
• Fix the condensate drainage in Ridgeview

MCSD’s asbestos abatement project is the lowest BEST grant application at $1.881 million, but it may just be the most important one for the district.

The asbestos abatement project would address the following within the district:
• Replacement of the wood flooring inside CMS’s gymnasium, which is the original flooring from 1948
• Removal of asbestos from the press box at MCHS’s football field
• Flooring finishes throughout Sandrock and Sunset
• Carpeting in classrooms, hallways, and the gymnasium of the administration building, which is all original material from the opening of the building

In total, the grants would be $25,280,396 to MCSD, should they be awarded all three. According to Ulrich, the BEST grants could award one or two to MCSD, but there’s no guarantee the district would get all three applications approved.

The amount for the grants comes in well below the $99.6 million TreanorHL reported to the school board during its initial reveal of the master plan.

“…The 2020 master plan outlines $99.6 million in capital improvement needs across MCSD facilities,” Ulrich added. “This is a shocking number, and we are working hard with the district’s Strategic Plan Team and Board of Education to prioritize projects that will allow the community to get another generation — 25 to 30 years — out of its schools, and bring down the total costs significantly.”

With the submission of the grant applications, MCSD now waits until May to present to the BEST grant board in hopes of securing the funds. In an effort to help fund the projects, MCSD said they’re looking to ask taxpayers for a bond request on the ballot in November.

“We will know the outcome of the BEST grant award process by the beginning of June,” Ulrich said. “We recognize that our community is in the midst of major changes ​and​ believe that now is the time to push forward, invest in education as an economic driver, and help secure our community’s future. We look forward to sharing our plans with the community and getting input on how to best address our schools’ needs together.”

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