$33 million school bond to be on this year's ballot

District's schools need repairs, upgrades

Deb Hurley Brobst
dbrobst@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 6/7/21

Clear Creek County voters will be asked in November to support a $33 million bond ask from the school district. Clear Creek school board members on June 3 informally agreed that was how they want to …

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$33 million school bond to be on this year's ballot

District's schools need repairs, upgrades

Posted

Clear Creek County voters will be asked in November to support a $33 million bond ask from the school district.

Clear Creek school board members on June 3 informally agreed that was how they want to proceed as they continue to wrestle with the district's buildings needing millions of dollars in repairs and upgrades. The board will approve the official resolution in August.

Property taxpayers would pay an additional $25 per $100,000 of home value and commercial property taxpayers would pay $100,000 of commercial property value if voters approve the measure. The bond would be repaid in 25 years.

While the board hasn't decided specifically how the money will be used, it is still discussing whether to turn the former middle school into a state-of-the-art elementary school to replace Carlson Elementary School.

District officials have projected it would cost about $26 million for the elementary school — whether they remodel and upgrade Carlson, renovate the former middle school or try a hybrid model that would demolish part of the old school and build a new section.

That would leave about $2 million to make improvements at the other two elementary schools and at Clear Creek Middle/High School. About $5 million would pay for fees and other costs associated with a bond.

While no decisions have been made, district officials have suggested that $1 million could be spent at King-Murphy Elementary School to expand the pre-kindergarten rooms, gymnasium floor renovation, security improvements, exterior repairs and more; $400,000 at the middle/high school for athletic field lights, gymnasium floor improvements and security improvements; and $600,000 at Georgetown Community School to finish replacing the roof, and exterior and interior improvements.

Board member Larry Pyers suggested that the entire bond could be used to upgrade all of the schools except Carlson, leaving that school for future funding.

The Colorado Department of Education performed an assessment of district buildings and said all of the district's schools and the bus barn need about $73.1 million in repairs and upgrades in the next five years. Subtract Carlson repairs, and a $33 million bond would cover nearly all of the work at the other schools, Pyers said.

Superintendent Karen Quanbeck told the board that buildings need to be upgraded to attract more families into the school district, which has experienced enrollment declines for more than 10 years. She noted that the district offered exceptional education opportunities, but it is judged on how buildings look.

“We are judged based on what they see,” she said. “This is a pain point. … Learning environments matter for students, parents and guardians. We are judged based on what they see.”

In 2018, Clear Creek voters approved a five-year, $5 million bond that is paying for replacing playgrounds at the three elementary schools, three buses, improvements to the high school athletic field and more. That bond will be paid off in 2023.

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