Group pushing back timeline for Steamboat Springs school facilities recommendations | SteamboatToday.com

Group pushing back timeline for Steamboat Springs school facilities recommendations

Students board a long line of busses at Steamboat Springs Middle School in 2013.

— A group working to make recommendations for the future of the Steamboat Springs School District will need to push back its timeline for bringing suggestions for facilities upgrades to the school board.

The Community Committee for Education, or CC4E, previously planned to present final recommendations to the board in March, but members told the board Monday that recommendations would come later.

The group is currently holding focus groups with community members to review five facilities options, or "pathways," before holding larger community forums.

"Time is becoming our least available asset," said board member Roger Good. "There's lots of work to do after a decision is made, and I'm concerned about time."

The committee has indicated repeatedly it is aiming to make recommendations that could be funded through a 2017 ballot initiative.

Good said he is seeking multiple facilities options from CC4E, not a single recommendation.

"I encourage the committee to keep the pathways broad, because the board needs to make some of those calls," Good said.

Among the options first presented by a CC4E facilities task force in November are pathways that include new school construction, renovations and additions to existing campuses and creative solutions that would involve reconfiguring grade levels at each campus.

CC4E chair Bette Vandahl said as part of the committee's focus groups, members are gathering feedback concerning how the community would feel about a bond and one or more mill levies presented separately on the ballot versus one larger bond to cover facilities upgrades, associated increased operating costs and deferred maintenance.

Vandahl told board members that CC4E had been working as an 18-member volunteer group for nearly a year now.

She said two members of the committee, Steamboat Springs planning director Tyler Gibbs and Routt County planning director Chad Phillips, had stepped down from the committee, but the remaining members continued to work together and share diverse opinions.

CC4E’s next meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday at the district office boardroom, 325 Seventh St., and is open to the public.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow