Thursday, November 27, 2003
The South Routt School District's $9 million multi-year construction project is nearing an end three years after voters approved the bond to fund it.
South Routt voters passed the bond issue in November 2000 in a show of support for the school district and its outdated facilities, Superintendent Steve Jones said. It was the first bond issue put to voters by the school district in more than two decades, he said.
"I think it was vitally important for the district because our facilities were not in very good shape," he said. "It was really critical to our educational program and I think it was critical for the community of South Routt. I feel it was something people thought we needed."
Construction projects began almost immediately after the bond passed and involved both the elementary school in Yampa and the middle school and high school campus in Oak Creek.
Now, just a couple to-dos remain before the project is finished.
The district spent about $2.5 million on the addition of a classroom wing to Yampa Elementary School, and the interior of the school was completely renovated. The new wing enabled the district to get rid of the school's modular buildings, and it has been essential in the district's move of sixth-graders from the middle school to the elementary school.
Another $2.5 million was spent on the middle school, with much of the amount going toward a complete renovation of the building's interior. The exterior of the building and the stucco wall interior was kept largely the same to keep the "historical flavor" of the old building, Jones said.
Renovations at Soroco High School include a new gymnasium, commons area and locker rooms, as well as remodeled classrooms. The district's new administration building and vocational-agriculture building were constructed on a site just above the high school at a cost of about $1 million.
An array of grants from various groups and state departments provided the district about $750,000 in additional construction funds. The grants paid for new roofs and carpet for each district building, a modern telephone system and a wide-area computer network.
Landscaping at each campus was done over the past summer, and despite a few remaining needs, is finished.
After three years of work, the district couldn't be happier with the results, Jones said.
"Now our facilities are really nice, and I think we're set for the next 15 to 20 years," he said. "It certainly didn't go without its hiccups, but considering all the different projects, I think it went quite well."
Jones said the district completed the construction projects under budget.
Once warranties are secured for each new roof and a leak in the high school's heating system is fixed, the entire project will be completed.
"I think the community is really happy with the end result," Jones said.
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