Soroco studies new roofs for its schools

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— South Routt County School students will not have to worry about water dripping on their heads once construction work is finished on the three district buildings.

In addition to already scheduled work at Soroco High School and South Routt Elementary School, district officials believe the buildings need new roofs, South Routt Superintendent Steve Jones said.

Jones said he hoped the roofs, which are 20 years old, could hold up a little longer, but he said it is clear they need to be replaced. The high school roof is the worst because it leaks, he said.

"Our roof just wasn't going to make it another five years," Jones said.

The new roof at the high school will cost $130,000, which will come out of the $9 million bond issues South Routt voters passed last year. That means the "voice-data" system, which would have improved the school's Internet access and phone system, will be cut from the budget, Jones said.

But the $120,000 system isn't being written off. "We'll have to pay for that out of the general fund," Jones said.

The roof on the South Routt Elementary will cost $250,000. That roof is made of a different material, making the cost to replace it higher, Jones said.

That project also wasn't included in original construction plans, but Jones said the district won't dip into the bond money to pay for it. Instead, he said he hopes to receive an energy impact assistance grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

That grant, which will be up for final review in the fall, would be worth $200,000 and the district will come up with the remaining $50,000 out of the general fund, Jones said.

Bob Brooks, executive director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, said he hasn't heard about the project, but that it does fit the criteria for the grant money. "We do award grants to schools fairly regularly," he said.

Jones said the school district received an energy impact grant for construction work on the middle school, and said he feels confident about the process.

Soroco Middle School also will receive a new roof as part of the original project. Jones said all the work is on time, which is important because the crews are working under a tight schedule.

At the elementary school, a 7,000-square-foot, six-classroom wing will be added to the building. The middle school will be completely remodeled, and the high school will get a new gym, a commons area and a new agriculture building.

Only the agriculture building needs to be finished this summer.

Work on the middle school will continue into the first semester, which starts two weeks later than normal. Middle school students will spend the fall semester at the high school.

At the elementary school, the addition should be finished by Dec. 19 and work on the high school will be finished next March.

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