School district plans community meetings

Officials want to explain plans for a possible $33 million bond ask

Deb Hurley Brobst
dbrobst@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 6/23/21

Clear Creek School District officials plan to host community meetings starting in mid-July to explain why they want to ask voters for a $33 million bond in November and to get feedback. Dates and …

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School district plans community meetings

Officials want to explain plans for a possible $33 million bond ask

Posted

Clear Creek School District officials plan to host community meetings starting in mid-July to explain why they want to ask voters for a $33 million bond in November and to get feedback.

Dates and times haven’t been set for the meetings yet, but Superintendent Karen Quanbeck said she plans a meeting at each of the district’s four school buildings.

“The community meetings will allow us to share our best thinking right now regarding the bond,” Quanbeck said at the June 15 school board meeting. “We will be able to incorporate the community’s comments, and that will help the board make a final decision in August.”

The board plans to formally vote on whether to put a bond on the ballot at its Aug. 17 meeting. At its June 3 work session, the board generally agreed to move forward with the bond ask.

Quanbeck said district officials wanted to provide voters with facts about the district’s needs, how it would spend the money and how it has spent previous bond money.

“My job and our job as a board is to look at all the facts and decide what is the best long-term decision for our kids,” Quanbeck said. “We have needs and deferred maintenance, which is why we are looking at (a bond). It’s up to our voters in terms of what they are willing or able to do.”

In response to a rumor on social media, Quanbeck said: “We are not considering consolidating elementary schools. We believe deeply in community schools. … In our district, given the geographical complexities, it’s not feasible (to consolidate).”

Board member Kelly Flenniken was excited about what a bond would provide for students.

“When parents are looking at where to put their kids, it’s a competitive process,” Flenniken said. “We want parents to choose to come to our schools, not only to experience a great education, but our schools will be inspiring spaces. We need a transformation of facilities that are matching the education they are receiving.”

“This feels like a really big ask,” noted board member Erica Haag. “We’re playing a bit of catch up. It’s (big) because it’s so needed because we haven’t done (facilities maintenance) in the past.”

Facilities consultant Mike Moonan is recommending that the district hire a third-party firm to perform administrative oversight of the bond if it is approved. He said a separate company would help smooth the process.

In response to questions about a new bus barn if Four Points Development buys the Idaho Springs football field and the bus barn properties, officials said they are considering either the track or the area near the U.S. Forest Service building at the middle school property or putting it next to Clear Creek High School. If the sale goes through, the district could use a portion of the $2.525 million sale price to build the facility.

Plans for the bond money

The board is still discussing the best way to create a state-of-the-art elementary school in Idaho Springs. District officials project it would cost about $25 million to either remodel and upgrade Carlson Elementary, renovate the former middle school or try a hybrid model that would demolish part of the old middle 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.

Officials have suggested that $1 million would 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.

If approved, county homeowners would pay an additional $25 per $100,000 of home value and commercial property taxpayers would pay $100 for every $100,000 of commercial property value. The bond would be repaid in 25 years.

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