School district to release interest in Overlook site | SteamboatToday.com

School district to release interest in Overlook site

The Yampa Valley Electric Association owns this 70-acre property off Downhill Drive, which was once slated for a residential subdivision called Overlook Park.

— The Steamboat Springs School District plans to release its interest in purchasing the Overlook site off Downhill Drive on Steamboat's western border.

The Board of Education on Monday voted unanimously to direct district staff not to purchase the 70-acre site.

An option to purchase the property from Yampa Valley Electric Association was extended once and is scheduled to expire April 8.

The district had originally hoped to use the property to build a new high school, and after the failure of last November's bond, the board extended its option on the property once.

Board member Joey Andrew said he thought the Overlook site was the best property for the district to acquire if the district were to sell off some other assets.

"I do strongly support this property," Andrew said. "I think it would be a huge asset to our district with the sale of other assets."

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Board member Sam Rush said while she wanted the district to release its interest in the property primarily because of the financial obligations of purchasing the site, she said she'd also heard from members of the public they did not like the Overlook site.

"I heard loud and clear from members of the public that they did not support the property itself," Rush said.

Later in Monday's meeting, the school board discussed whether to move forward with appraisals of existing district properties, including the Whistler site, Steamboat II site and the district office site on Seventh Street.

The district received an estimate that appraisals of all three sites would cost between $10,000 and $12,000.

Board members had differing opinions on which of the three properties they wanted to be appraised, and some members had concerns about spending money on appraisals while considering the upcoming year's budget constraints.

Board member Roger Good made a motion to move forward with appraisals of all three properties, with the caveat that the action not be taken as an intent to sell or not sell any properties, only to better understand each property's value.

The motion was defeated 2-3, but the board agreed to consider the appraisals again at its next meeting Monday.

Good and Andrew voted in favor of the motion, and Rush, Michelle Dover and Margaret Huron voted against it.

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