Recount adds up to passage of $22.9M school bond in Hayden
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Hayden School Board and school administration members can finally exhale.
Routt County Clerk Kim Bonner reported Thursday after a recount of the vote on the Hayden School District’s $22.9 million bond/mill levy issue that the result remained unchanged – the measure passed 431-429.
“The success and safety of our students is a priority, and we want to provide an environment that is safe, inspiring and conducive of learning for all our students,” Hayden Superintendent Christy Sinner wrote in an e-mail after learning of the final outcome. “Through community opportunities and outreach, we will work together to gain additional support throughout the process.”
As tight as the final outcome was, there was more drama to the vote in Hayden, 23 miles west of Steamboat Springs. When the final tally was announced on Election Night, Nov. 7, the vote was deadlocked at 427-427.
The final results were first reached when election officials, following Colorado law, took a second look at ballots that had been held back from being counted because their signatures were not a clear match for the voters’ previous ballot signatures.
When the ballots of voters who returned to the courthouse in time to reconcile their signatures were counted, the two-vote margin emerged. But that margin was also tight enough to mandate a recount.
Tuesday’s recount results mean the school district has the matching funds it needs to renew its pursuit of a $41 million state BEST — Building Excellent Schools Today — grant from the state of Colorado to help it build a new middle school and high school, as well as refurbishing its elementary school on land the district owns. BEST grants derive their funds from school trust lands, a portion of state lottery revenues and marijuana excise taxes.
Hayden was wait-listed for a BEST grant in 2017, and Sinner confirmed Thursday the district will re-apply for the grant in 2018, with the pre-existing approval of the bond issue a plus in that process.
If the district has the opportunity to build the new school buildings, they will have a 21st century media center and the building will be wired with the latest information technology infrastructure, the superintendent said.
“The new classrooms will be something that all will take pride in and will provide learning environments that allow for collaboration, be inspiring, educationally effective and functional,” Sinner said. “It will provide space for creativity and innovation, which will support critical thinking and problem solving.”