Design Underway on New Colorado Grade School

By SCN Staff

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. — The design process is well underway on a new pre-K through eighth-grade school on the Steamboat Springs School District’s 70-acre property in Steamboat II.

According to the Steamboat Pilot, the goal is to break ground this spring.

“We wanted to hit the ground running,” said Steamboat Springs School District Superintendent Brad Meeks. “People are going to see things happening in the spring.”

HCM Architects has been hired as the design team, and FCI Constructors as the construction contractors for this project.

With a completion date slated for fall 2021, the Design Advisory Group (DAG) for the new school was formed prior to the November 5 election, when voters narrowly passed the referendums granting a $79.5 million bond for the construction of the new school, as well as a bond providing $2.8 million annually for operating costs.

To date, the new school advisory group has already met three times and consists of 22 members, including parents, school staff, district administrators and community members.

“The PK-8 DAG application had an overwhelming response from volunteers generously willing to be part of the process,” wrote Owners Representative Colleen Kaneda, of Dynamic Program Management, in an emailed response to a question about how the group was formed.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to accommodate all applicants. We selected a diverse group of members who are representative of the larger community. These members have agreed to serve as ambassadors for those they represent (neighbors, parents, staff members, etc.) and will be talking with their peers about the status of the design and bringing the feedback they hear to the DAG meetings.”

At the Board of Education’s meeting in early December, Robin Schepper, a parent, and chair of the high school’s parent information committee, urged more community engagement and transparency by the district on the design process.

“I am happy that the community has funded education,” Schepper said, of the November 5 victory. “But now is the time for the details and for the district to keep the community informed on how decisions are made and how money is being spent.”

The district has scheduled the first round of public meetings, but Schepper said there needs to be additional channels to receive input, “so our taxpayer dollars are reflected in what the district builds.”

With the $79.5 million bond passing by just 69 votes, it is especially important, because in no way was the election a “mandate” from voters on the spending package, she said.

“It’s up to the district and the board to make sure taxpayers feel the money is being appropriately spent.”

This bond also includes about $27 million designated for upgrades at existing school district campuses.