Bond or no bond request

School district officials continue to mull bond request, Idaho Springs elementary school

Deb Hurley Brobst
dbrobst@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 5/18/21

The Clear Creek school board continues to struggle with whether to ask voters for a bond measure in November and what to do with providing a new elementary school in Idaho Springs. Board members …

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Bond or no bond request

School district officials continue to mull bond request, Idaho Springs elementary school

Posted

The Clear Creek school board continues to struggle with whether to ask voters for a bond measure in November and what to do with providing a new elementary school in Idaho Springs.

Board members wrestle with how big a bond should be, noting that a $30 million bond ask would only net the district about $18 million to spend, which would barely pay for a new elementary school — whether Carlson Elementary is remodeled or the former middle school called Building 103 is reconfigured. That would leave little additional money for the other approximately $6.1 million in projects that need to be done at the district’s three other school buildings and the bus barn in the next five years.

However, the $6.1 million project list is not “won’t even scratch the surface,” of needed district projects, warned Superintendent Karen Quanbeck at the school board work session, May 13.

Quanbeck said that only needed district projects under $1 million were included in the $6.1 million list.

Board members wondered if they should wait until 2022 for a bond ask rather than rushing to make a decision by early August to meet the state’s timeline for putting bond questions on the November ballot.The board discussed using grants to help offset costs for some of the more immediate needed repairs.

The board will likely have to decide how to proceed with the Idaho Springs elementary school before it can decide on other projects what would be part of the bond request. The state requires that bond requests specifically state how the money will be used.

To help provide clarity, the board has asked that its consultants — one on district buildings and the other on the bond — attend the board’s work session at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, June 10, to discuss their concerns.

The school board also discussed wanting the district to get to the point where once it received a bond from voters, it would ask to renew that amount every five years with detailed plans for building construction and repairs.

Carlson vs. Building 103

The District has three options for a new state-of-the-art elementary school in Idaho Springs.

They could remodel the 82-year-old Carlson building, or there are two options for Building 103: remodeling the existing building, though probably only two of the four floors at the outset, or demolishing most of the existing building and constructing a new section.

While the demolition/renovation option is more expensive, it solves problems like providing Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility, providing easier technology access because the existing building is concrete and not conducive to wireless networking, and be safer because it would get rid of the many doors in the existing building.

Projects at district buildings

The list of improvements at Clear Creek High School/Middle School includes kitchen and theater improvements, flooring replacement, security improvements, mechanical upgrades and a backup generator, and stadium lighting totaling about $2.1 million.

Georgetown Community School’s list includes kitchen, mechanical and security improvements, siding replacement, flooring replacement and concrete repair/replacement totaling $770,000. The list does not include an estimated $600,000 to complete roof replacement. The GCS list is incomplete because district officials have not spoken with GCS officials at the public charter school about other needs.

Carlson needs $1.3 million in immediate improvements if the district doesn’t move toward a new school: kitchen improvements, mechanical upgrades, flooring and roof replacement, door and door framing replacement and a backflow preventer.

King-Murphy’s improvements are listed at $1.85 million including roof and flooring replacement, kitchen improvements, a prekindergarten classroom expansion, mechanical upgrades, security improvements and door hardware replacement.

Even though the bus barn and maintenance facility in Idaho Springs is expected to be sold to Four Points Development, until that happens, the building also needs repairs totaling $75,000: maintenance equipment, abatement, plumbing repair and furnace replacement.

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