Steamboat Springs South Routt School Board members learned Thursday night that workers will begin framing the new South Routt Early Learning Center in January.
"The foundation is in, and workers are now backfilling," said Kelly Reed, superintendent of the South Routt School District. "It's exciting to see the work moving forward. When finished, it's going to be a real asset to the community."
Reed said the new facility, which will include 2,500 square feet of space with two classrooms, staff offices, a family room and several covered porches, will be ready to open for the 2008-09 school year.
He noted that the $655,000 project has a long construction timeline that allows for up to two months of inclement weather.
Board member Tim Corrigan, who is on the Early Learning Center's board, noted the project was not slowed by soil tests, which delayed construction at Soda Creek and Strawberry Park elementary schools in Steamboat Springs.
As the Early Learning Center begins to rise from the ground, Reed told board members he hopes to get the school district's boiler replacement project under way.
In July, the district received a $1.57 million Capital Construction Grant from the Colorado Department of Education to help replace the boilers at the high school, middle school and South Routt Elementary School in Yampa. Voters approved matching the grant by a 3-to-1 margin in November.
"It's like every construction project, (McKinstry Company representatives) came back with revisions to the original budget, Reed said. "I said bluntly that it was too high, and they are going to rework the figures."
He said that costs associated with unexpected electrical components were the cause for the budget increase.
"Under Colorado law, they need to present to us a guaranteed price before we sign a contract," he said. "We'll be working back and forth, and we'll have something signed before our Jan. 2 meeting."