CC4E and Steamboat Springs School Board come together for workshop, open discussion
May 15, 2017
Steamboat Springs — A week after the Community Committee for Education turned over its recommendation to the Steamboat Springs Board of Education for updating district schools, the two groups sat down together for a frank discussion.
Also in the room during the board's workshop Monday were district administrators and staff from NV5, a newly hired owner's representative available to review any school facilities options the groups are considering for a November bond or mill levy.
"I think we needed to air some things out and look at next steps forward," said board Chair Joey Andrew after the meeting.
CC4E's recommendation last week called for a $31 million bond to pay for an addition to Steamboat Springs High School, a new gym at Strawberry Park Elementary and millions in deferred maintenance across the district.
Board member Roger Good questioned the decision to include more than $5 million in the plan to renovate the district's Seventh Street building, which houses district administrative offices, the alternative Yampa Valley High School, the district's preschool and community tenants.
"I, for one, believe that Seventh Street is of marginal value when it comes to providing ongoing quality education to our students," Good said. "The proposal is to spend slightly more on the building than the appraised value."
CC4E member Jeanne Mackowski said some of the money for the proposed renovations could come from fundraising by Steamboat Springs Boys & Girls Club, a building tenant, and said she believed the committee would support further review of what to do with the Seventh Street building.
While CC4E members in the room Monday acknowledged the group didn't come to a unanimous consensus on its recommendations to the board, most agreed that paying for deferred maintenance and an addition at Steamboat Springs High School were good ideas.
"I think everyone agrees that we need to do something," CC4E member Karl Bunker said.
The board hasn’t indicated whether it is interested in moving forward with CC4E’s recommendation, which the committee characterized as a first phase that could later be followed by a second phase that could include another bond.
CC4E member Karen McRight, who identified herself as a someone who disagreed with the committee’s recommendation, said she worried that the first phase would be perceived by the community as the long-term solution.
Superintendent Brad Meeks said after Monday's meeting he felt there was consensus in the room that there's more work to be done before something is put on the ballot.
"Is there more work to be done? What I heard from CC4E and the board is 'yes,'" Meeks said.
The board is expected to continue its discussion of district facilities upgrades at its next meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the district office board room. The meetings are recorded live at steamboatschools.net.