Steamboat Springs A little more than one year ago, Rick Denney's curiosity was sparked when he discovered plot maps while flipping through old files.
Denney, the Steamboat Springs School District facilities director, did a little digging and might have struck gold for the district in the form of two pieces of district-owned property.
"After an investigation, it turned out we do indeed have the deeds for the land," Denney said.
Located 20 miles north of Steamboat and one mile north of Seedhouse Road along Routt County Road 129, the two 21-acre adjacent parcels were given to the school district by Steamboat Lake developers in 1972.
At the time, developers had high hopes for an elaborate subdivision in the area, but little to none of the plans ever materialized, according to an appraisal of the property by Valuation Consultants, Inc.
Upon learning of the district's ownership, Denney visited the two land sites to evaluate their suitability for future school district use. Denney also had the land surveyed.
However, it soon became apparent the land was not suitable for a school necessitating athletic fields and parking lots.
"The topography of the land doesn't make it really desirable for a school property," Denney said.
The Steamboat Springs Board of Education approved sale of the land about a year ago.
"People who have seen the sites say they're neat pieces of property for a trophy home, but they're not well-suited for a school site," board President Paul Fisher said. "We said we'd be willing to sell that property to help defray costs for other land purchases that would be of more value to the school district."
The pieces of land were appraised at $180,000 each in May 2002. The school district is offering the properties for $189,500 apiece.
According to state law, money generated from the sale of the land must be used toward capital projects, Superintendent Cyndy Simms said.
The school district has several pieces of property it would be interested in acquiring, Denney said.
At its March 10 board meeting, the school board passed a resolution stipulating its intent to acquire a .79-acre parcel of land adjacent to Soda Creek Elementary School. Fund to purchase the land were gifted to the school district by the Education Fund Board last May.
The district wants to buy the land because the small amount of space in front of the school used by buses and parents to drop off and pick up students poses safety risks, Fisher said at the March 10 board meeting.
The board said it hopes to acquire the property through a contractual agreement with property owner William Padgett, but the resolution stated the board will, if necessary, acquire the land by eminent domain.