The meeting at Carlson Elementary about the New Elementary School on Highway 103 appeared okay on the surface but will the school district really listen? The attendance was not big because I hear many Clear Creek citizens think the decisions have already been made. Many of the attendees were there to lobby for a new Daycare Center and the school only really needs about half of the building.
There are three basic issues with the existing building:
First, it is built into the hill and lacks windows so it has a lot of dark spaces. So the right rooms need to be on the right side of the hill. RTA Architects got most of that right, but for instance the cafeteria is on the wrong side of the building with no windows.
Second, the “Partner” areas that the school will share with the Day Care Center on the main level and Performing Arts area on the top fourth floor, which already has an auditorium and art spaces, needs to be separated from the school area for security. In their design the public must go through the school area to get to the Performing Arts area violating security so they should have their own separate entrances.
Third, the site has limited amount of flat areas for playfields and parking. Playfields shown at only10,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet are not enough forreal athletic playfields. Their Bus Barn location on the track hill contributes to that lack of flat area and the Performing Arts parking will have to shuttle people from off- site. It is a few million dollars over budget because they are forcing a bad solution in the mountains and whenever you don’t work with Mother Nature she will punish you so the Bus Barn, which doesn’t really fit the site, will have expensive extras like retaining walls. Members of the community have presented better alternatives but the School will just circumvent the voters for more money with a deal “partially funded through a lease /purchase agreement (loan),” said Superintendant Karen Quanbeck.
If the School Board’s management of the Bus Barn fiasco foreshadows the management of the New Elementary School then the Clear Creek Community will be thrown under the Bus Barn. All because the School Board won’t listen, learn and be fully accountable like they should teach their students to do by example.
Mike Caistor, Idaho Springs