School Board will consider district’s interest in 70-acre Yampa Valley Electric property | SteamboatToday.com

School Board will consider district’s interest in 70-acre Yampa Valley Electric property

This is the property

— The Steamboat Springs School Board has called a special meeting at noon Wednesday to consider allowing the district to begin negotiations for the possible purchase of a 70-acre Yampa Valley Electric Association property on the western border of city limits.

The vacant property once approved for a residential subdivision called Overlook Park was purchased from Alpine Bank by YVEA in 2012 for $2.025 million.

The intent then was to someday move YVEA headquarters to the undeveloped property, but plans for the parcel changed with the cooperative's move into new headquarters on Elk River Road in December.

A listing price has not yet been decided for the property, which will officially hit the market sometime in the next month, according to listing agent Cam Boyd, of Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty.

YVEA CEO Diane Johnson said the decision to list the parcel is unrelated to the Steamboat Springs School District’s plans for capital construction.

"Until now, the property we refer to as Overlook has not been formally for sale. Last week, the YVEA board decided to put that property on the market," Johnson said, via email. "After considering the potential of this parcel from a number of strategic perspectives, we've determined that it will not be needed for YVEA operations … Our decision to put the property on the market now is unrelated to the school district's planning process."

Steamboat Springs School District Superintendent Brad Meeks toured the property with district Finance Director Dale Mellor and Board President Roger Good in February, and Meeks believes the location of would be more favorable to community members for a new school.

At 70 acres, the property is large enough to accommodate a new high school, the option most preferred by community members and staff at district facilities meetings over the past few months as a solution to increasing enrollment across the district.

Meeks, district-hired architects and an engineer have said numerous times at the meetings that the district is interested in exploring whatever potential properties in town might be available for school construction, in addition to district owned parcels on Whistler Road and near the Steamboat II subdivision.

Many community members at a May 12 facilities meeting said they supported the idea of building a new high school, but not on the Steamboat II property.

Johnson said YVEA does not see the sale as a pressing matter, and the financial strength of the organization will allow it to negotiate an appropriate agreement for the sale of the property.

"This may happen quickly or take some time; we will thoughtfully consider offers, should we receive them, and ultimately determine the best course of action to serve our members into the future," Johnson said.

The school board met in executive session Monday to discuss interest in a property, but a decision to authorize negotiations must be made during an open board meeting.

The school board's special meeting begins at noon at the district office board room, 325 Seventh St.

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