Steamboat School Board to discuss capital needs at Monday meeting

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What: Steamboat Springs School Board meeting

When: 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3

Where: Steamboat Springs Middle School

— The Steamboat Springs School Board on Monday night will get a close look at its district's most pressing capital needs during the next five years.

From a $500,000 project to replace the athletic track at Steamboat Springs High School to a $7,000 project to redo landscaping at Strawberry Park Elementary School, the 32 items on the list of capital needs drafted by district officials totals about $3.5 million and covers all of the district's four campuses.

School Board President Brian Kelly said Sunday that the list likely will spur the board to start thinking about how some of the more substantial projects will be funded.

"The long range thinking on it is with the current state of financing for education, it's tough to keep up with salaries and benefits with the rising health care costs and then to also continue funding capital assets that are getting older," Kelly said.

After reviewing the list, he said a $1.5 million project to replace the heating and cooling system at Steamboat Springs Middle School especially caught his eye.

In the list of capital needs, district officials outlined that most of the projects will be paid for out of the district's capital reserve budget that Kelly said currently totals about $2.1 million.

But officials listed the HVAC project at the middle school as something that potentially could be paid for with a bond issue that would have to be approved by voters.

A bond issue to fund a major capital repair at a school wouldn't be new to Routt County.

The South Routt School District replaced its old coal-fired boilers in 2008 with more than $2 million worth of grant funding and a $1.57 million bond issue passed by voters in November 2007.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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