District to fill vacancies soon

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Soda Creek Elementary School fourth-graders enjoy their recess Thursday. The school will be torn down later this year and replaced by a new one on the same site.

— The job descriptions for key school construction officials haven't been finalized, but the Steamboat Springs School District is moving forward with filling two of those positions.

The deadline to apply for the owner's representative position was Wednesday, and the deadline to apply to be the general contractor/construction manager is in several weeks, Superintendent Donna Howell said.

Both positions will be paid for by the district as part of the $29.7 million bond approved by voters in November.

Overseeing the expenditures of the project is one responsibility of the owner's representative. The district received three applications for the position, and a selection committee will review the applicants and finalize the job description.

Steamboat School Board member Pat Gleason, who owns a construction business, said the owner's representative will be the "eyes and ears" of the district during the construction of a new Soda Creek Elementary School and the renovation and expansion of Strawberry Park Elementary School.

The owner's representative also will be responsible for upgrading the George P. Sauer Human Services Center on Seventh Street, which will serve as the temporary location for Soda Creek students and staff while the new school is built.

"I'm looking for someone who has done this before, especially with schools and a project of this magnitude," said Rick Denney, the district's facilities director. "The owner's rep acts as the organizational hub of everything that is going on."

The general contractor and owner's representative also will work with the district to search for renewable energy resources to run the two schools.

"What we are trying to do is avoid duplication with a lot of people," Gleason said.

Having "green" buildings was important to board member Jeff Troeger and several members of the community who attended a community forum about the construction projects in December.

The district plans to contract with "green" engineers to do a cost-benefit analysis of renewable energy and the cost of pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certifications.

Addition project bids

Steamboat Springs School District director of facilities Rick Denney is accepting bids for the completion of the Steamboat Springs Middle School addition project, which started last summer.

The project includes an addition to the front of the building that will allow administration offices to be relocated. Extensive underground work also is being done to help with drainage problems at the school's main entrance.

The Education Fund Board is using proceeds from the city's half-cent sales tax for education to fund the project.

"A significant amount of the underground work is done," Denney said. "A lot of the drainage systems are in place. : We still have to put in storm sewers and modify the grades for drainage to feed into the storm sewers."

The target completion date is August 2007, but the construction timeline hasn't been finalized. However, Denney is optimistic the bulk of construction will be done before the start of the 2007-08 school year.

The middle school project is being bid separately from the Soda Creek and Strawberry Park elementary school projects.

- To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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