School district seeking grant

Hayden officials look for funding for vocational building

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— The future of the Hayden School District's vocational building most likely rests in a grant proposal.

The district is preparing an Energy and Mineral Impact Grant application asking the state for between $350,000 and $500,000.

Before the state awards grant money, the Hayden School District must give a presentation to a county review team, which includes the three Routt County commissioners and representatives from the county's three public school systems.

The review team will prioritize the grant applications from the county before sending the applications to the State Department of Local Affairs, which will award Energy and Mineral Impact Grant money this spring.

"I would say they have a very good chance to get some level of funding," Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said. "Quite frankly, I don't know how they could do this project without it."

The district is moving forward with planning for the 70-foot-by-120-foot expansion of the current vocational building, which it is aiming to have complete in time for the second semester of next school year.

"The biggest part of this is the Energy Impact Grant," Hayden Superintendent Mike Luppes said. "We can't take steps forward as far as getting bids until we are awarded the grant money."

The county uses similar criteria as the Department of Local Affairs when prioritizing grant applications, Stahoviak said.

Through a partnership with the Hayden Economic Development Committee, school officials are confident they can show a need for the community and the school district. Colorado Northwest Community College also has expressed a desire for an expanded vocational building for its programs.

"We would utilize this facility for post-secondary classes and adult education classes that we have," Luppes said.

Kevin Kleckler, the district's career and technical education director, wrote a letter Monday that will go to area businesses and vocational leaders asking them for financial support.

The district is seeking $250,000 in private donations to match the estimated $100,000 the district appears ready to commit and a $40,000 grant Kleckler already has received.

The vocational building expansion is expected to cost roughly $750,000.

The district also is willing to consider naming the building after an individual or business pending School Board approval.

The district created three levels for contributors - $5,000 to $10,000 is an apprentice level, $10,000 to $20,000 is a journeyman level and $20,000 and more is a master level.

The vocational building would have a lecture classroom, a mechanical drafting/computer aided drafting classroom, a painting booth, an automotive collision/refinishing shop and an automotive mechanics shop.

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