Hayden High School junior Levi Hallock works on an engine last semester during a diesel mechanics class in the district's vocational education facility. District officials say they are about $300,000 short on funds for a $1.9 million expansion of the vocational building.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Steamboat Springs The Hayden School District needs $300,000 to complete an expansion of its career and technical education center, and Hayden Town Board trustees declined Thursday to provide additional funds for the project.
"Currently the town is waiting to see how its fiscal year goes," said Town Manager Russ Martin, who recommends against providing additional funds. Trustees previously approved a $20,000 donation and waived water and sewer tap fees for the construction, at a value of about $18,000.
"Sales tax revenue in 2007 came in slightly under projections, and Hayden is already digging into reserves in 2008 for the paving of streets. : It's unclear what the increased snowplowing will be this winter," Martin said. "We don't have a clear financial picture."
The 8,000-square-foot expansion of the career and technical building would include additional classrooms and workspace for college welding, base mechanics, auto body and other mechanical classes.
Hayden Superintendent Mike Luppes and Hayden High School welding instructor Kevin Kleckler approached Town Board members Thursday looking for help closing the funding gap.
"Our original fundraising goals - which were accomplished - were based upon the professional cost estimates made during the initial building planning stages," Luppes said. "Due to bids that were higher than those estimates, cost overruns and engineering and structural changes : we are experiencing approximately a $300,000 funding shortage."
Kleckler said the building also was re-engineered to put all ventilation, filtration and heating and air conditioning on the roof instead of inside the building because the noise would interfere with the learning environment.
The facility was budgeted for $1.05 million but has increased to about $1.3 million.
Delivery of building materials and construction of the center is set to begin Monday, which won't be delayed because of the lack of funds, Hayden School Board President Brian Hoza said.
"Completion of the shell of the building will go on as scheduled, but we may have to phase in what goes in the interior of the building," he said.
Luppes said he hopes the expansion of the facility will help the school accommodate more students. Last semester, 116 students signed up for 48 welding class spots. The high school has only 151 students.
To help fund the building, the school district received $500,000 from an Energy Impact Grant. A fundraising effort raised an additional $580,410, including $100,000 from the school district.
"We are optimistic that the district will get an additional $125,000 from the Colorado Energy Impact Grant," Luppes said. "Of all the groups and entities that have already donated to the construction, the Hayden Town Board is the only one the district is re-approaching at this time."
Luppes noted that at the time of the school district's first request to the Town Board, trustees encouraged school officials to inquire about additional funds if there were cost overruns.
"I think it would be imprudent to give money we may not necessarily have," Trustee Tom Rogalski said. "It's unfortunate pockets are only so deep."