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The Clear Creek School District is asking the community for proposals on how to use the rest of the building that will house the new Carlson Elementary School.
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To find the link to the Extra Space Proposals, Former Middle School form, visit ccsdre1.org and look under “Latest News.” Proposals are due by July 22.
The district expects it will have about 26,000 square feet of space available in the former middle school, and it needs to decide what will go there as architects design the space. It is asking for proposals by July 22, and the school board will discuss them in August with a decision in the fall.
“Following community input the CCSD Board of Education will prioritize how the extra spaces can be utilized," Superintendent Karen Quanbeck said in a letter to county officials. "Important in this process will be understanding which ideas are compatible with an elementary school, how ideas support the educational programming of CCSD students PK-12, how the ideas benefit the community at large, viability of funding and the priorities of the Clear Creek community. Additionally, parking needs cannot be ignored as part of the prioritization process.”
The overriding concern as the district makes decisions, Quanbeck said, is student safety.
“Safety is paramount,” she explained. “The elementary school and the kids are our first priority in everything.”
Last November, voters approved a $33 million bond, with about $25 million going to build a new Carlson Elementary School in the 86,000-square-foot former middle school, now called Building 103. Preliminary designs show the school will use about 60,000 square feet of space.
Bond money will be used for asbestos abatement for the entire building, but it cannot be used to build out space for other organizations. That is why funding for other organizations is important, she said.
The district already has requests to use some of the space for a child-care center and for an arts center. Quanbeck said the district also has fielded other ideas such as a youth-focused group and community space.
“As we have been looking at the space, we thought we would have plenty of room, but now I don’t know that we will," she said. "I think the board will be faced with difficult decisions.”
She said the board would identify criteria to use to prioritize programs, with one of them being whether the program would fit in the remaining space.
“We could shoehorn programs in the building, but does that create an overall building that works over time? We need to think long-term about the building," she continued.
She said the school board will look for programs that will enhance educational opportunities for students and also benefit the community.
“There is a synergy that is really interesting,” she said. “That’s where it gets really exciting.”
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