Hayden School district makes back-up list for grant funding | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden School district makes back-up list for grant funding

Construction crews work on tearing down the condemned Hayden Middle School gym in 2011.

Bond elections in seven Colorado school districts will determine whether the Hayden School District receives millions of dollars in grants to build a new school.

The Colorado Department of Education recently announced the recipients of Building Excellent Schools Today, or BEST, grant recipients.

More than 76 percent of the funding comes from State Land Trust funds. Another 16 percent comes from marijuana excise taxes.

For the 2017-18 grant cycle, $70 million was awarded with matching contributions of $40.8 million to 28 school districts.

The Hayden School District was identified as the highest priority back-up project.

Hayden could receive the money if other communities are not able to secure their matching contributions in the form of tax measures.

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Hayden School Board President Brian Hoza said he was disappointed that the district's project was placed on the back-up list, but the district would continue moving forward with plans to revamp its schools.

"That's just where the process placed us," Hoza said.

Hayden was requesting more than $41 million in BEST grant money to remodel and expand the elementary school into a single building that would house all the district's facilities.

In addition to the grant money, the school district would have to contribute $22.3 million of its own money.

Hoza said they still plan to go to voters in November to ask for the money should the grant money become available.

The district is still determining the wording for the tax question.

One Routt County school district did receive grant funding.

Soroco School District received more than $214,000 to replace the middle school roof. The district will contribute about $162,000 of its own money toward that project.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland