District eyes long-term facility plan

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Nearly a decade since its most recent facilities master plan was completed, the Steamboat Springs School District is considering an updated plan and review of its capital assets.

But who will pay for the master plan could determine whether it's done or left for another time.

Both the school district and the Education Fund Board, the group responsible for allocating revenue from the city's half-cent sales tax for education, have discussed the need for an outside analysis of district buildings and land assets, particularly as it pertains to maintenance needs and long-term planning.

The results of such an analysis will help both groups determine how best to spend money and plan for the future, School Board member Pat Gleason said. It also could provide some guidance as to when the Fund Board and its Capital Commission should fund district projects and when those projects should fall into the lap of the 1,900-student school system.

"I think you don't know the answer to that question until you know what you have and need," Gleason said after Monday's School Board meeting.

The district has received two proposals for the job. The less expensive of the two will cost about $101,000; the more expensive will run about $141,000.

Facilities Director Rick Denney said the cost of the master plan could be reduced if it doesn't include the work of a demographer.

The plan, to be performed by people with expertise in school structures and their related laws, would include a comprehensive facility condition analysis report and a multiyear facilities plan with recommendations and estimated improvement costs and timetables, according to a request for proposal authored by Denney.

School Board members Gleason, Michael Loomis and Paula Stephenson expressed concern with the high costs of the master plan and suggested the Fund Board pay for it.

"It's a pretty hefty price tag," Stephenson said. "It'd like to see the Capital Commission pay for it."

The Capital Commission meets Wednesday, and Superintendent Donna Howell is expected to present the School Board's sentiments regarding the potential master plan to commission members.

Also on Monday, the School Board approved salary increases for members of the district's administrative team. Those increases include a 2.25 percent step increase and a 1.87 percent competitive market adjustment. Three administrators whose salaries were found to be below market levels will receive an additional 2 percent pay increase. Members of the district's administrative team include Howell, Denney, Content Standards Director Kelly Stanford, Technology Director Cathleen Nardi, Transportation Director Ed Dingledine, each building principal and two assistant principals.

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